Skip to content


UK and Global Agricultural Recruitment. For Professionals by Professionals

Understanding Culture Architects and Culture Assassins

The Impacts of Both on Your Business 

Learning about culture architects and culture assassins and what these terms mean — watch the Thought Piece Video Series below.

Culture Architects

Culture architects are team members within your business that other people take advice from; talented individuals who are admired by the rest of the team. Culture architects are people who want to build, who have the same beliefs and values as the business.

There are many ways team members can contribute to the business that are not based on skills, but attitude. For example, work ethic, positive attitude, punctual, being professionally presentable, passionate about what they do - these are the most important attributes.

Culture architects might not be in a management position, but they still lead and influence the team. It really does not matter what status they have within the business. It important for managers to realize that culture is both created consciously and subconsciously.

The reason culture architects are so important within a business is because there is only so much that management can influence. You need to have people on the ground, people doing the day-to-day work that really believe in your business if you want to get maximum productivity and take your business to the next level of growth.

Having a company filled with culture architects rather than culture assassins may make the difference between a business growing to the next level or not.

Culture Assassins

Culture assassins, also known as bad apples, are the opposite of culture architects. A culture assassin is somebody who is negative, who is not on board with management, and who does not believe in the values and the direction the business is headed towards.

Culture assassins likely do not agree or like management and their way of dealing with this unhappiness is to project their negativity and thoughts onto others within the team.

5 Costs of Having a Culture Assassin

The five main costs of having a culture assassin in your business are as follows:

  1. Productivity — Productivity could be down by as much as 20% by having these people in your business.
  2. Marketing Costs — The marketing costs to repair the damage that the assassins have done to your culture and your brand within your business.
  3. Management Time — Management time (focusing on addressing situations brought on by these negative people) and HR time to address the repercussions of the culture assassins.
  4. Not Focusing on the Positive People — Management unintentionally neglecting the good people in the business because they are dealing with the assassins.
  5. Replacing People — Replacing the good people who were driven out of the company because of the culture assassins. The cost of replacing the people who have left because of it.

How to Address Culture Assassins

Now that you have identified a culture assassin in your business, what do you do? You must have the guts to address it, you must make the decision to address the situation no matter how difficult it may be.

The top tip is isolation. If you cut a bad apple, or culture assassin, off from being able to infect others, that will steer the assassin out of the business.

You need to focus on the rest of the team, make sure the team knows where you want to take the business, where you are going, how you are going to get there, have transparency, and excellent communication.

Bringing everyone along with you is fundamental because then when you get the rest of the team on that journey with you, the culture assassin will be vulnerable because they will have nobody they can go to with their negativity.

Often the culture assassin will voluntarily hand in their notice because their attitude is no longer welcomed in your work environment. That more than anything is where you need to steer them towards.

As part of the management team, it is easy to put your head in the sand and ignore culture assassins, but you need to be proactive.

When you are taking on new members of staff, if you are using a recruitment company, you must ensure you are using a recruitment company that identifies the difference between these two types of individuals. You want to ensure you are hiring culture architects onto your team.

Web development by Bluelinemedia