An inspirational article for new entrepreneurs intended to stimulate debate.
Creating a culture in your company is a satisfying process.
Something occurred to me while I was writing a recent post on the influence of your personality on your destiny. It made me wonder how your personality influences the culture of the company you are creating or to what extent does your personality need to be at the centre of your company’s identity?
So what is company culture? Wikipedia defines organizational culture as having to do with the “behaviour of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviours.” Hmmm. That doesn’t say much to me. They further list those behaviour attributes that defines the culture as:
Company vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits.
Nope, still not helpful.
Here’s my take on it: your company culture is something that pre-exist the formation of the vehicle you gave established irrespective of the legal form it takes. It is something established way before you even conceptualise your idea and form it into an executable vision. It finds its origin at the birth of the founder way before the birth of the entity. It is something established during your infancy and teenage years, your years in college and early stages of adulthood!
It is in no way something that employees can establish by the way they subscribe to, or in any way behave towards the attributes described above. As a matter of fact, a sole proprietor, one man band, or a home industry operation with only one employee who cleans the kitchen, still has a culture!
In fact, the sole proprietor or founder, the one with the “vision, values, and ideas” don’t wait for employees to instil those behaviours; instead, they have a way of discovering the gems in the labour market who best fit their existing dream for the company. In other words… people who match the personality of the proprietor!
We learn to accommodate for the other characteristics we bring into our environment, including staff and our choice of client. It’s a process of give and take and if you stay aware of the direction you chose and the dynamics that are brought together through interaction with others, you’ll find a very rewarding and somewhat satisfying growth that transpires.
It is not easy to be blessed with the foresight to completely unravel a long-term plan for establishment of a company culture. In fact, almost no business achieve this. Maybe because of the dynamic role all the varied personalities play under guidance of the proprietor once huddled together into one pressure pot. As a matter of fact, most entrepreneurs find it difficult to consider their company’s existence beyond the daunting first 12 months ahead of them!
However, maybe it is time to step back, do an introspection on yourself as well as the characteristics you are surrounding yourself with whilst on this initial staffing drive. You are ultimately the founder of not only your company but of your company culture!
While there are plenty of companies out there that would charge you an arm and a leg to come and do a culture audit and potentially devise a cultural plan for you to implement, it is far easier and more satisfying if you just take the time to get to know your people (including yourself) as the company will eventually reflect your personality!
You are ultimately the ruler of your own kingdom!
Enjoy the process!