“Culture is the invisible co-founder who can make or break your business.” — Deepak Kanakaraju
It also eats strategy for breakfast, according to management guru Peter Drucker.
From the inception when innovative minds come together as founders working from their couched to hiring the first employee and then the 100th employee, culture is something every founder puts a lot of thought into.
However, startups face a lot of challenges while building a culture.
The word startup conjures up images of people working out of cafes in shorts, casual meetups, bonding over drinks and nights out. However, startups, while doing all of those things, also need to contend with the reality of hiring, getting the work done, addressing client needs, and retaining employees. Being part of a startup entails much more than being hip and cool.
The growth of a startup depends on the culture the company imbibes from Day 1.
In this week’s Startup 101 series, we bring you the key to making the best choices for the culture of your startup from Ravi Narayan, Mentor, Digital Transformation with Startups.
“If you’re really trying to build up the culture in a startup, then the fundamentals continue to be the same despite the fact that things have been evolving over time,” explains Ravi Narayan.
Narayan believes that people in startups feel they are fully empowered, there is an agency about everybody, and they’re able to sign on to the mission and vision of the startup.
“They also feel that it is their startup as much as it is of the founders, they feel they are actually going up there and making this thing happen. So, they are fully empowered to make this thing happen,” he adds.
The next important thing is expressing yourself as an employee. Narayan explains this is something very important in a startup because they usually comprise small teams that are trying to make some big things happen.
“The communication, the expression of ideas is very high. So, communication within the organisation is, the ability for you to express what you think is good, what you think is bad, what you think is working, what you think is not working, is very important,” he says.
Narayan also believes that in a good startup culture, people are fully energised to make certain things happen as they don’t have to hold themselves back. This means they feel a necessity to create the work culture and make consolidated efforts to take the job to a logical conclusion.
“At the end of the day, you are not only able to fulfil your responsibilities but also make other people as motivated and as excited about fulfilling their jobs and responsibilities. So, not only are you energised, you are able of energising other people around you to actually come in and participate in the mission of the startup,” he says.
So, listen to the expert — in this case, Ravi Narayan — and make sure your startup culture enables people to express makes them feel empowered and energised.