Corporate culture is only the sustainable, controllable competitive advantage for startups. It really is. Think about it: what other factors in business can you control? The market? Nope. The economy? Nope. Tsunamis or civil war? Nope. Corporate culture? Yes.
There’s a reason cult is the first part of culture. Many of the most famous corporate cultures are like cults, like Zappos. When I did a summer internship at IBM after my freshman year at Duke there was another intern there from Northwestern who kept saying she wanted to work at the SAS Institute. I asked why? She said people love it and never want to leave. I asked why again. She said it was a cult she wanted to join. True story.
Here are some ideas to put the cult in culture:
- Require unanimous consent for new hires so that everyone has a vested say in the hiring process
- Measure your employee Net Promoter Score each quarter and score above 70
- Create the best environment you can afford (great office space, snacks, equipment, etc)
- Find the right balance between good work, good people, and good pay
Creating a strong corporate culture is hard work. Do it, and the rewards and results will be profound.
What else? What other ways can you put the cult in culture?