The best businesses have a great culture and a compelling vision. Most often these businesses start without clearly defining their vision, mission, purpose, values and culture because they are deeply ingrained in who the founders are. However, as the business grows, it is important to properly define and articulate these characteristics of your business. It enables you, the founders, to step back from day-to-day decision making safe in the knowledge that your team are selected with the right attitude and qualities and understand how to make decisions consistent with the business values, mission and vision.
If you don’t set the culture in your business then your team, suppliers or customers will do it for you. And it may not be the culture you want. So in this series of articles we are going to explore how you can be proactive in creating the culture of your business in a way that helps you to serve your customers better, now and in the future…
This is all well and good, but does it affect the bottom-line, I hear you ask.
Well it certainly can. As an example, with one client, we spent time creating the vision, mission and culture of his business, together with other aspects of his business plan. As a result, this SME was successful in a competitive tender bid put out by a large blue chip company because they could see that their values were aligned with the values and culture of our client.
The culture in your business is determined by the success with which the day to day running of your business is guided by deliberately defined mission, vision and values. If you are unsuccessful at doing this, the culture of your business will be created by default, by an accumulation of the ad hoc responses to events, incidents and crises. And those responses may well depend upon who is on the scene at the time. If you are successful on the other hand, the culture of your business will guide the responses to those same events, incidents and crises. As a result, it has often been said that if you don’t define the culture of your business, your people will do it for you. If you have the right people, that may not be a problem, but if you are not deliberate about the culture in your business, how can you be sure you are hiring the right people?
It doesn’t have to be chicken and egg… Next step: deliberately setting the culture of your business…