You, as a founder cannot simply create your startup culture by just declaring in an email ‘Dear team, our culture will be the best, please find below a list of our core values. ’ – (and even worse if you have googled that list). So please, read the title of this post again! The Culture of your startup will always determine success regardless of how effective your strategy may be.
The answer is: Right now! We must define our culture when our idea becomes a business.
Maybe culture seems not to be important if it is just you and your co-founder but let me tell you something – you are supposed to grow exponentially in a very short time period; and failing to answer questions like ‘How do you want your employees to be treated” or “How you want them to act” or “What type of environment you want to create” will guide your startup to toxic work environments and bad hires that no strategy, even the best, will be able to withstand.
It’s simple – no matter how amazing your startup strategic plan is, if the people executing it don’t nurture the appropriate culture, your startup will fail.
If your employees are not passionate about your startup vision, the product and the problem you are solving they will not be enthusiastic about executing the plan, and yes… your strategy stands no chance!
Your startup culture happens, whether you work on it or not – the result is predictable, right? The culture is everything, it’s the core of your startup. So please I beg you, put culture first.
Well this is not the situation because in the perfect scenario, both should complement each other. Both should be created simultaneously, making sure they are aligned.
If you get both to be in sync I assure you that you will be able to build incredible things.
Think of culture as the foundation for your strategy. If those foundations are built correctly and aligned to your plan, then it will be very easy to build your strategy and execute it. A change of strategy with strong foundations will not be a problem.
If you or any leader in your startup operates outside the cultural rules, your team members will start viewing you as disingenuous and untrustworthy, causing employees to disengage and leave your startup.
Take the time to train your team in your mission and core values. Ensure everyone is on the same page regarding what’s expected of team members, how these values will guide the company and why they matter.
Providing meaning not only helps employees understand the importance of upholding values, but also incentivizes positive behavior. Knowing how every action contributes to broader goals fosters a cohesive, mission-driven culture.