A few weeks ago, I was asked to help out a startup that comprises unseasoned and serial entrepreneurs. I’ve known some of the individuals for a while and had worked with them in the mid-2000s. While they’re all good people, it is remarkable to me that these co-founders have not established any kind of culture that would foster a strong bond amongst the entire team. As a result, they’ve been experiencing some challenges in keeping the team together.
Below are some questions that all aspiring founders should ask themselves:
- What kind of culture do I want to establish, whether this is a company of one, five or 500?
- Will my venture be a people-oriented, process-oriented, data-oriented, or product-oriented culture? Or some combination?
- Will it be a top-down organization or a consensus building organization?
- Will it be a formal or informal culture?
- What shall be the threads that hold us together and help deepen our ties?
As a founder, you are the cultural creator. You’re responsible for creating the environment that attracts and keeps those who will help you build your new venture. You’ll want to think about these questions and issues BEFORE you start hiring people, not after you’re adding people to the team and don’t have the time for reflection, articulation and implementation. If you do not have a clear vision of the culture you want to create and lead, you won’t attract the right people to help you, and you won’t have a foundation that provides grounding for your team as well as your business.
© 2014-2015 My-Tien Vo