Crossing the Moat out of the Worst Company Culture: The Fortress Culture

Stephanie Edwards - WIOA Adult Program Coordinator ·

The Fortress; it symbolizes all that is strong and impenetrable in folklore and is replicated time and again in mythological stories of protection and safety. When it comes to company culture, there are many types and blends, but the fortress culture is truly the worst kind.

Fortress culture is paramount to an organization that is so consumed with survival after a financial bust, that job security and rewards for employees are scarce, and fear takes over. This usually occurs when the company is in the process of restructuring or downsizing. It typically results in the mass layoff of many employees, leaving the rest to fend for themselves, hoping for a turnaround. There isn’t financial safety, security, or room for growth for the rest of the employees, because the focus is on staying afloat and cutting back costs. It could be the result of a supply/demand cycle of business, or a business that was once prosperous and now losing ground due to the nature of the economy. For example, textile products, retail stores, oil and gas industries could all have a strong culture in times of demand, and have turned into a fortress culture due to forces somewhat out of their control.

No company is impenetrable from forces of the market. The good news is that in a time of transition, there is help for restructuring to regain security of the company leading to the safety and security of the employees. Let us be your lifeboat as you cross the moat from fortress culture to a stronger culture. Visit our portfolio of restructuring transformation services at