– Every business must – and will – have a
nature and style all of its own. A culture.
Any and every group of people that co-
exists for any length of time has a culture,
whether it chooses to or not.
Culture - Values
– It is because values are so important that
we have heard some say “hire on intuition,
not paper qualifications”. Sharing a culture
is about agreeing on what matters and what
is trivial, what is good and what is bad.
Culture - Mythology
• The mythology of your business is
important. How did the company begin?
What were its darkest moments, and
how did you get out of them? What was
the biggest lucky break?
• Mythology supports values by
embedding them in stories, and by
giving those stories value.
Culture - Rituals
• Rituals are hugely important, for
reminding people of the culture‟s values
and mythology and of their shared
membership of the group. The original
meaning of the word „Religion‟ was
„binding together again‟, which is exactly
what ritual does.
• Select the right people
– Your cornerstones should be people you
totally trust, ideally because you have
known them for awhile. The difficulties arise
when you come to selecting the Dream
• Select on character, not on apparent merit.
• Key virtues are enthusiasm, optimism and
• Having selected well, set out dos, and
don’ts from the start. Reward teamwork,
„mucking in‟, imagination, extra effort
and, most important of all, anyone who
encourages or helps a colleague in
• Anyone who engages in point-scoring, one-upmanship or „mind
games‟ – the expression of hidden agendas should be given a
warning, then dismissed.
Second – Cont..
• You should have a vision of what the
new company means. What it does, for
whom, why people should buy from you,
what kind of place it will be to work in.
The more the company has real
character, the more people will be
prepared to subsume their personal
interests to company ones.
Have a culture of Success
• Visualize success, and make sure your
team does the same. Celebrate success
whenever it happens.
– Professional sports people do this,
visualizing success via videos of their own
greatest moments, and celebrating
outrageously whenever they succeed
• Can you create a similar feel in your office?
• Your Dream teamers are „doers‟,
remember, so encourage this. Have a
can-do culture, where people get
praised for having a go at something. If
the start-up is busy, there will be more
jobs to be done than people to do them,
so let people have ago if they think they
are „up for it‟
Dream Team – Clarity
• Clarity is a much undervalued
management virtue. Tell people what
they are supposed to be doing and why.
This sounds obvious, but surveys often
reveal managers to be mired in
uncertainty about what the hell their
actual job is.
Leadership – Dream Team
• Select wisely • The one cost that
• Set clear rules you cannot get
• Have a vision (and around is the
communicate it) opportunity cost of
• Have a culture of not having able
success people working with
• Be clear on the you. The payback in
objectives (do not terms far outweigh the
move the goal posts) costs.
• Lead by example