One of the big advantages of being an entrepreneur and starting your company from scratch is that you get to set the culture, which is much easier than changing the culture of an existing business. The challenge is how to do it, and how to do it right. Why not learn what you can from companies like Apple, who are leading the way with great growth and a great culture?
Jim Stengel, in his latest book “Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit” chronicles a ten-year study of the world’s fifty best businesses, including Apple, and concludes that those who centered their businesses on a culture of improving people’s lives had a growth rate triple that of competitors in their categories.
Here are ten culture building principles, adapted for startups from this study, that I believe have the same potential for tripling the growth and survival potential of your entrepreneurial efforts:
Communicate your dream and operationalize it. Mission statements tend to be narrow, business oriented statements such as “Be the leader in customer satisfaction.” Your dream and your company culture needs to be outward focused with a higher good, extending beyond the company’s financial interests.
- Be clear about what you stand for, inside and outside your company.Your personal priorities, values, and principles set the culture. The best way to be clear about them is to regularly engage team members, customers, and suppliers. People follow what you do, not what you say.