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Culture & Communication

Too important for HR – YOU need to set and drive your company culture. The why.

hr-setting-cultureThis is one of the foundations you must invest in if you want to grow your small business fast, and with as little growing pains as possible. Sounds woolly – and being a High D I initially rejected it (there are tasks to be done people, so, why aren’t you doing them?)

But the empirical evidence is in. I’ve seen it add tremendous value in my companies, and there are plenty of studies and books that espouse the value of a genuine great company culture.

It does depend on your timing. If you’re about a short-term return – build and sell as quickly as possible – skip this post. It’s not for you.

However, if you are serious about building medium-to-long term value and get your business to a point where it can run itself without you, keep reading.

As mentioned in the previous post on the hardest thing in small business, people is where the value is at. You, as the entrepreneur need to answer the ‘why’ question, and set the culture.  Why do you turn up with passion each day, and expect that of your team. Here is a great TED video on the ‘why’:

Once you know your why, you need to communicate this to your team through the culture you set.

One big part of that is setting your vision statement, mission statement and core values.  These clearly and easily spell out to your team what you know and feel about your business.  If you don’t pass this onto everyone else, you are missing a trick.

What a small business owner / manager should do to set their small business culture:

  1. Use the Jim Collins PDF and exercises on how to set you vision, mission and core values
  2. Live by your vision, mission and especially core values.  Your team will judge you not on what you say, but the small actions and decisions you take.  Make sure they are inline with your statements and core values
  3. Read some books that have had tremendous financial success and fast growth thanks to its culture:
    1. Built to Last, by Jim Collins et al
    2. Good to Great, by Jim Collins et al
    3. Any of Richard Branson’s books
    4. Maverick, by Ricardo Semler

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