"In a world of constant change, the fundamentals are more important than ever," writes Jim Collins, author of Built to Last. One of the aspects of building a business to last is "Build a cult-like culture".
Many SMB CEO's don't give culture its proper due.
"The real company values as opposed to the nice-sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted or let go," writes Reed Hastings. In scaling up, sometimes you lose sight of the culture. But companies that are building a brand, a long lasting business, understand that corporate values flow outward. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, said that "Your Culture is Your Brand."
Hsieh also says, "From the beginning, company culture was always important. Is this someone I would choose to hang out with or grab a drink with, if we weren't in business? If the answer was no, we wouldn't hire them." Hsieh has written a whole book about how the culture at Zappos helped make it the sales juggernaut that it is.
The one thing to remember is that corporate culture is top down - it starts with the CEO (and his actions), all the way down to the mail room.
Companies have come to me for years with issues hiring good sales people. Some of that is culture. Do you have a culture of sales or a culture of tech, where the sales folks are looked upon as a necessary evil? Do you have a problem managing the sales team or do it inconsistently?
Have a culture where every employee is valued and this becomes less of an issue. In a strong culture that can be explained during the interview process, candidates that don't fit can select out.
his is the best presentation I have ever seen about Culture - by Netflix.