As an entrepreneur, starting a new venture brings means identifying purposeful direction, profit opportunities, and people. People to manage the vision, people to deeply connect with and people who have like minded missions or can benefit from your mission.
Developing a company culture when it is a one woman show seemed necessary when i started idea, but who has time for warm and fuzzy-soft sell stuff when you have services to sell and people to benefit?
It doesn’t seem necessary and it seemed like another distraction which for any entrepreneur can be your kryptonite.
To me, however, company culture meant the spoken and unspoken ways a group of people identify with one another. If when it was just me i didn’t get my insecurities and weaknesses in check i would not have a group of people to call a team, nor would i have a viable – purposeful, profitable, centered around the people – business.
Developing a company culture may not have been the number two focus or even the 32nd item on the old to do list, but taking one hour a week or even monthly to consider my shortcomings and how i envisioned the company moving forward, there would be no roadmap for when the team did come on board.
And man was i excited when the opportunity to hire arose.
Now culture is not always something you can steer, but your personality, fears, crazy habits and strengths, as the company’s founder or leader, does create social cues and politics within teams.
It is interesting to consider the workforce as it is sold to us in development. From a child onward, we are constantly told that the entering the workforce is a transition into the “real world”. Therefore we adapt that train of thought in many aspects of our lives growing up, especially school and home life, without even realizing that the transition is very similar.
Working is more than completing a task. It is joining an entity and helping to accomplish goals, while simultaneously working towards goals of your own. Although it is the “real world” in the sense that when we enter our twenties and embark on that journey to adulthood, we are taking on a level of responsibility we probably have not been faced with before – it is in the most basic form a relationship. And as in any good relationship, it should be mutually satisfying. Ideally, we would like to gain as much from our workplace as we do in giving of our skills and time to it.
However, it may seem this ideal is far from the experiences of so many employees and their companies. That while it is demanded of the employee to know everything about the company, it is not reciprocated from the side of the company. Employees must accept and conform to the order of their employment, while they themselves are quite simply interchangeable. It is no wonder that we are living in a time when the idea of being loyal to company has many weak strings. The kind of loyalty that leads a person to work for a company for forty years seems to be gone, and instead is replaced by the person who is continuously working to develop themselves and their own personal brand – bringing the idea of company culture to a very micro scale of the individual.