There Is No Such Thing as a Normal Company

If you think your company is uniquely strange and “not normal,” you’re right, but you’re also wrong.

Every company sometimes seems to have hierarchies that make no sense, or places where hierarchy seems desperately needed.

Every company sometimes seems to be missing an essential department or an essential tool.

Every company sometimes seems to have processes that exist for no particular reason, and/or desperately needs processes for this or that.

Every company sometimes seems to have a strategy or tactics that vary from the industry best practices in some way.

Don’t wish you worked at a “normal company.” There’s no such thing.

There is no such thing as a normal company because (despite – and as evidenced by – the mountain of contradictory business books) there is no foolproof rulebook on how best to run a company.

There is no such thing as a normal company because all companies emerge from humans, not from cookbooks.

People are learning all the time what works and what doesn’t. And people are discovering better ways of doing business all the time – sometimes by accident, often in the midst of times when we wish we had been more “normal.”

Sometimes the things that are best practice for an industry are wrong practice for you. Sometimes the things no one else is doing are exactly the things you should be doing. Some things work for one company and (mysteriously) not for others.


There is no such thing as a normal company. And the companies that realize this (and don’t try to pretend that there *is* a normal) will be in the best position to succeed.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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