Culture Development

Why Focus On Company Culture?


94% of executives and 88% of executives believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success
(Deloitte "Culture in the workplace" study)

A company’s culture develops organically, based on the values, beliefs, behaviours and principles of the founders of the company. Every company has a culture and there is no right or wrong culture. The fundamental question is whether your company’s culture is strong or weak, an asset or a liability.

Culture becomes an asset when you can define it in the form of values/vision/mission/purpose and embed it into the company. If it is left undefined your culture will exist, but for the most part it will be below the surface, subconscious and invisible and can become a significant liability as you start to scale the business.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

"For us, our #1 priority is company culture. Our belief is that if we get the culture right, most of the other stuff - like delivering great customer service, or building a long-term enduring brand and business - will happen naturally on its own."

Brian Chesky, CEO of AirBnB

"The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous. They can be entrepreneurial."

Jeff Weiner, CEO LinkedIn

"Ten years ago, had you asked me about culture and values I would have rolled my eyes and recited a line from Dilbert. But when I started as CEO I began to appreciate just how important they were. Culture and values provide the foundation upon which everything else is built. They are arguably our most important competitive advantage, and something that has grown to define us."

A company’s culture is its greatest asset

It is the glue that binds the team together. The advantages of a strong company culture are:

Culture Development Process

The CultureGene Culture Development Process has been developed to prepare high growth startups for scale stage.

The most successful companies over the past ten years have been able to achieve previously unheard of global scale by investing in defining and embedding a strong company culture into the business. You shouldn’t start to scale your business without a Culture Development Process in place.

PHASE 1 - Surface, Define and Refine
  • Values
  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Purpose

Phase 1 outcome: company has clearly defined culture consisting of mission/vision/purpose/values.

PHASE 2 - Embed and reinforce across the company
  • Agree expected behaviors related to each company value, define the relevant interview questions and build out the Values-Based Framework
  • Embed the Values-Based Framework across all other business functions – recruitment, sales, engineering, customer support, technology etc.
  • Embed the expected behaviors into business processes such as remuneration, feedback, performance evaluation, meetings, stand ups etc.
  • Integrate culture reinforcing tools into the company policies, processes and procedures.

Phase 2 outcome: company culture embedded into all aspects of the business

PHASE 3 – Lead
  • Define the process for ongoing learning and culture management processes
  • Decide which technology solutions to test for internal company feedback, employee surveys etc. Continuous feedback from the team is used to improve the culture together with culture based experiments, so that the company lives and nurtures the culture on a daily basis.

Phase 3 outcome: company leadership leverage culture as an asset within the business

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