Product/Market fit? Tick. Secured funding? Tick. Now what? 

If you’re the founder, CEO or People Director of a start-up that’s looking to scale, your success now depends on your culture. If you don’t get it right, you won’t grow successfully or sustainably. It’s that simple.

But fear not, this blog signposts you to all the great content you need to be able to create the culture that will drive your growth…

The sensible place to start is understanding what exactly is company culture? There’s not one right answer to this question. There’s not a World President of Company Culture whose job it is to define what it means. In our experience, there are many great culture practitioners who take different views to us about what culture is and how you change it. That’s how it should be.

If you’re leading a scale-up though, it pays to reflect on what you mean by culture. And it definitely saves a lot of wasted time and effort if you’re working with people who have a shared understanding of what culture means and how you can influence it. 

The truth is, you’re not looking for the right definition of culture. You’re looking for a useful one. A definition that helps you make sense of your situation and helps you plot a path forward. 

However, if you want one insider’s tip – the litmus test for telling a good culture practitioner from a bad one is to ask them what they mean by ‘culture’. There will be lots of people queuing up to advise you on how your “culture’s going to be critical” who literally don’t have the first clue about what company culture actually is.

So… once you’ve had a little ponder about what culture is, the next step is to get your head around why growing your business necessitates culture change. And if you’re a natural sceptic, you might want to read this blog that looks at the extent to which you can (and can’t) influence your culture.

You’ll have probably found that a lot of the advice for scale-up leaders is framed around ‘how to protect your culture as you grow’… well, in our view that’s the wrong mindset. In fact it’s one of the 4 ways scale-ups mess up their culture. Click here to understand why and to find out the other three big mistakes to avoid.

Understanding the pitfalls is important, but on the flip side, you probably also want to understand what a great scale-up culture looks and feels like, so you have some idea of what you’re shooting for.

And then finally, you’ll be in position to really appreciate the secret magic tool that’s going to make creating you scale-up culture so much easier, faster and more effective… the peopleOS. Here’s a blog that explains what we mean by a peopleOS. This blog gives you an insight into why the peopleOS is the key to crossing the social complexity threshold that is Dunbar’s Number. Here’s some advice on how to design and build your peopleOS. And finally, here’s what a great peopleOS should look and feel like.

If you’re the sort of person who likes to dive right in, download a copy of our peopleOS Canvas, take our survey to find out whether your peopleOS is fit for purpose… and above all get in touch with us! We like helping. We’re not sales-y. And we love fellow pioneers – people who are trying to build stuff and who want to change the world. So if you want to attract, engage and retain the people you need to grow. If you want to create a company where your people are happy, fulfilled and engaged in their work. And if you want to do it in a way that creates a demonstrable improvement in customer experiences and business performance then we really ought to speak… trust us, it’s quite a tough nut to crack and you might want some help. Why don’t we start by having a quick chat.