How to NOT break your cultureMay 21, 2021
When Martin Karafilis, the co-founder and COO of Tiliter, an AI computer vision company for automatic identification, came on my show Ticker Ventures this week, his question was on one of the biggest challenges facing most businesses.
Martin asked me, how do you maintain your company culture while scaling?
Tiliter is growing with 50 staff and offices in Sydney, New York, and Munich, and is planning to double its staff in the next 6 months.
Unfortunately, it’s not something you can pick up and drop down. Your culture will constantly grow on top of everything else.
I’ve seen so many times companies break their culture because they grow too fast and it becomes neglected and turns into a wild beast that can’t be tamed. The reality is, a broken culture can break a company.
Here are some tips I shared with Martin:
- Who are your cultural pillars?
In every office or space, think about the people who are your cultural pillars in your organisation. They will determine the culture actually exists.
- Choose your first 25 people very carefully
These people need to uphold the values in your organisation. It’s the behaviours that people exhibit when no one else is watching.
- Write down your values
This set of values adhere to the principles of the company and that they exude and create an environment where your culture permeates and challenges it when it doesn’t.
- Write the behaviors that are associated with those values
How should you behave in order to adhere to those values? Think about examples of behaviours, when and how should these be presented and what’s your expectation.
- Keep refining and pivoting
As your organisation grows, you will need to keep curating and refining and pivoting to ensure your culture is maintained. This might include having hard conversations with people about whether it’s the right place for them. Your culture should actually help them consider this. That’s when the culture is really strong. Ultimately everyone should find a place in an organisation where you share the same values.
Click here to watch the full episode.
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