One of the biggest things I underestimated when I started my company over 10 years ago was the importance of corporate culture. In fact, underestimated is the wrong word — I didn’t even recognize it as something to consider. Corporate culture is now the most important part of the company. Why so important? It’s our only sustainable competitive advantage where we have complete control.
Co-founders are keepers of the culture and need to guard it however they can. Here are a few ways to develop and maintain a strong culture:
- Define the culture and attributes you look for in a person (ours are positive, self-starting, and supportive)
- Develop a rhythm where the culture is talked about on a regular basis (e.g. weekly team meetings, quarterly reviews/check-ins, etc)
- Empower other team members to own the culture (e.g. require unanimous decision for new hires, have a culture book that documents why things are the way they are, etc)
The corporate culture is critical to long-term success and the co-founders need to guard it. Co-founders are keepers of the culture.
What else? What other tips do you have to develop and maintain a strong culture?