“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a pithy Peter Drucker company saying. Everyone says it as a throwaway line regarding the importance of company behavior. Many hours are spent talking about culture— agonizing over it, even. Culture was an important part of my previous company’s success, and I foresee it will be at Minim.
In the early days, there were two schools of thought about defining culture:
Do it sooner - Write your desired culture down, taking a chance that you don’t get it right and need to redo it at a later time. In that case, the more seasoned team will have a different sense of culture.
Wait until later - Let your culture become more emergent, and then document what you see. The upside of waiting is that something special grows that would otherwise be killed by something more organized.
Recently, Alec, David, Nicole, and I we were at a Flybridge Unconference event covering product/market fit, go-to-market strategies, agile product methodology, and culture. We reflected on how long most companies take to formally declare their culture, despite inherently having a set of behaviors, articulated or not. The team left with a sense of urgency, and we took it upon ourselves to start out.
At Minim, I have used the phrase “burning daylight” as a sense of urgency for the team. Startups have a limited time window to prove that they should exist.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” ...