We know that organizations like Enlmtd Group, an internet marketing agency, have a habit of developing great products and services in the marketing domain.
In actuality, they are the result of years of careful craftsmanship. A great product demands constant efforts for designing, implementing, taking the time to talk to customers, and continuously improving.
We don’t usually think about it this way, but cultural development follows the exact same concept. Great start-up cultures are not developed by chance. Whether you like it or not, your culture is your company’s primary product.
This blog is meant to shed light on how we can apply the well-known principles of product development to develop a winning culture inside your start-up organization.
What Is Culture?
Culture is the total of all of the interactions that people have in your organization. It’s the language, the practices, and the values that you share.
Why Does Culture Matter So Much?
Culture matters so much because it can be a colossal accelerant or something that really slows an organization down from achieving its mission.
If you have a company that works like a well-oiled machine in which everyone is focused on the right things. When you have excellent practices and people are not distracted by petty politics and interpersonal drama, this is when you will be able to move towards your mission and business objectives rapidly.
Great Culture Attracts Excellent Talent
In addition to this, extraordinary talent in the market has many options at its disposal, and incredible talent wants to work in organizations with great cultures.
So, if you invest in your culture, you will acquire and retain a much higher level of talent and leave your competition at a considerable disadvantage.
Culture Is Support, Not Cut-Throat
When considering the development of a winning culture, you should remember that this is the company that you yourself are going to work in.
As a leader, you will observe that to have the stamina going day in and day out doing the hard work required to build a company. You are better off having a culture that feels supportive and helps you thrive when you come to work every day. The same principle applies to the employees that are a part of your organization.
There is a pernicious myth that business success is maximized when you have a cut-throat culture and stakeholders should burn the candle from both ends. I believe that this is an outdated concept.
In actuality, personal experience and all the data point to the fact that great supportive culture maximizes business success.
Is It Too Late To Think About Culture?
It is never too late to think about culture. Sometimes we hear business owners say; we don’t have time to think about all this touchy-feely stuff. We got quarterly objectives to hit, and we got deadlines breathing down our necks.
In essence, you can’t afford not to think about these things as they are that important.
In recent times, we have observed some great organizations, specially digital marketing agencies, falter because they couldn’t invest time in developing culture, and things started to go south.
So, it is never too early or late to start thinking about this investment. Because your culture is the seed from which is the rest of your organization is going to grow.
Developing Culture As A Product:
Now, let’s analyze how we can apply the well-known product development process to develop an influential organizational culture.
- Measure & Improve
Let’s look at each of these concepts in-turn:
Design is a profoundly reflective process, it’s about soul searching as a team into who you are deep down and what you are trying to accomplish.
This is a time to avoid platitudes and think about your company’s soul.
“Move fast and break things” is a concept that works very well for a company like Facebook. But if the same concept is applied to a company like Boeing or any digital marketing services company, it probably would not turn out as well as it did for Facebook.
Design is a deeply collaborative endeavor, so you would want to find individual contributors. Anyone throughout the organization that you feel most accurately understands and embodies the soul of your organization.
In the culture designing phase, it is better to get everyone together and find out what you all agree on and more juicily what areas you don’t yet agree on. Then you need to come together and figure out what you want your organization to look like.
After the design phase comes implementation, the main focus here as a business owner is to infuse the findings of the design phase into every aspect of your company culture.
For example, if you are a digital agency Houston, that values focus, you can benefit from implementing a “no meetings day”. With time you will see all the great ideas your digital marketing agency generates come from the same day where there are no meetings held.
If you value learning from each other, you can develop a culture where employees give regular, direct, and loving feedback. Having peer reviews regularly shows the things that are working and the areas your organization needs to work on for future improvement.
This way, every employee shares a feeling of togetherness where everybody plays a supportive role in helping people leveling up.
Sometimes this implementation phase requires a kind of reprogramming of people. People coming into your organization have worked in different cultures and might need time to adjust.
Having an effective implementation strategy plays a vital role in getting people quickly on-board, and in turn, provides feedback for further improvement of the organizational culture.
Instead, you would want to find ways that regularly link back. You can have bi-weekly company all-hands meetings, and you can have documentation of different practices.
These are all opportunities to link the particular implementation details to the cultural design principles and values at work inside your organization.
Measure & Improve
This is a never-ending process, as your organization continually evolves and so with it, your workplace culture.
The best practice to measure and improve culture is by conducting anonymous surveys once a year, where you ask everyone in the company complicated questions.
This process will allow you to find out the areas to celebrate and the places your organization needs to work on further.
Just like every product has bugs, every culture has culture bugs. The process of measurement and improvement is essential for the identification of your top culture bugs.
When you have this data available to you, then efforts towards triaging, prioritizing, and assigning owners to each of your cultural shortcomings can begin.
By understanding, assessing, and implementing culture this way, you give your employees:
After reading this blog, my call to you is, whether you run a digital marketing agency or any other business, to take the time to work with your team and write down what your mission is.
What are your values?
What is your collective fantasy of what your organization should look like at its very best?
Then, mindfully assess where you are at this moment and time. Perhaps do an anonymous survey and find out the things that are going well and are worth celebrating.
Carefully assess your culture bugs. This process requires facing some hard truths. But it’s all worth the effort because you will know where you need to focus your implementation energy the most.
The greatest thing you can do as a leader is to start with yourself. Because to a great extent, the culture of a company reflects the insides of its leadership.
So, you could pay all the lip service that you want towards inclusiveness, but if you aren’t doing the inner hard work of uprooting your own biases that will inevitably poison your endeavors.
Remember that bad cultures can destroy great missions, and great cultures can be enormous accelerants for relatively simple business ideas. Organizational culture the most underappreciated lever a business owner can have towards establishing a great business.