Scaling Corporate Culture in a Startup

Earlier today I had the opportunity to talk to Charlie Goetz’s Emory entrepreneurship class. Every time I talk to a class I work hard to emphasize the importance of corporate culture, especially how it’s the only sustainable competitive advantage within the control of the entrepreneurs. Now, in an MBA class, all students have several years of work experience, and thus first-hand interaction with one or more corporate cultures. When I start talking about corporate culture to MBA students, they appreciate it more than students that haven’t had full-time jobs.

One of the questions asked by a student today was “how do you scale the corporate culture as the business grows?” Here are a few ideas:

  • Implement culture check teams to provide checks and balances during the hiring process
  • Require unanimous consents from all interviewers when making a new hire
  • Regularly tell stories of positive corporate culture anecdotes
  • Include culture values in the quarterly check-ins
  • Physically embody the corporate culture through colors, objects, and visual cues

Scaling a corporate culture in a startup is hard. Not scaling a successful corporate culture will make scaling the business 10 times more difficult.

What else? What are some other ideas to scaling corporate culture in a startup?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.