Once you’re out of the weeds of building the first iterations of your product or service, once you are over the adrenaline rush of your first release, once you’re putting yourself onto better financial footing — culture becomes often a question entrepreneurs start to think more and more about.
How do you conserve (and evolve) the culture you have in your organization as you grow and bring on new employees? How do you codify your culture and bake it deep into the very fabric of your company. How do you create culture in the first place? And what even is culture?
These days you hear a lot about the culture at places such as Google, Facebook or Twitter (with its free food and lavish employee benefits). Or you hear about Patagonia’s culture which quite literally sends its people surfing.
Culture is all these things and so much more. Culture is the unique DNA of your company. It is what makes your company come alive. It’s the way you treat each other, the way your office looks, the things the company does for its employees and the employees do for the company.
Most importantly; and this is the one point you need to remember: Culture exists and happens no matter what. If you design for it or not — it is always there. You might not have thought about buying Ikea desks for your team — but those Ikea desks become part of your unique identity.
Your culture is the sum of all the small decisions you take on a constant basis. It’s always there — so you might as well treat it as such. Culture needs constant and relentless reinforcement. If you want people to act in a specific way — keep reinforcing this behavior by living it. Constantly; without pause.
You have the chance to create something very, very special. You can design and create the company you want — just be mindful about it.