If you’ve read a few of our blogs, you’ll understand what we think company culture is and why we think culture engineering is critical to the success of scale-ups, but you’ll also know that we don’t think you can just copy someone else’s homework and that you need to put in the hard yards to build your own distinctive culture.

Which might leave you asking… ok Pioneers, that all sounds great, but what am I actually shooting at?! What does it mean to have a great company culture and how will I know if I’ve got one?

So a very quick recap: 

  • Culture = what your people need to think, feel and do to fit in
  • And culture is created as your company learns how to engage successfully with customers, users and investors (external adaptation) and how to work together successfully as a team (internal integration)

So what does success look like? A great culture is one where:

  • From an external point of view you’re winning… your customers are happy, your revenue is growing, you’re winning market share, you’re getting positive word of mouth and brand equity; your investors are happy; and potential recruits want to join you rather than your rivals.
  • From an internal point of view people are engaged and motivated; you’re developing people’s talents so they’re now achieving more than they thought possible; and perhaps most critically, you’ve found ways of working that mean your teams are consistently delivering more than the sum of their parts.

And because of this, as the leader you’re not constantly firefighting, you’re not worried about whether your success is sustainable and you can let the finances take care of themselves. Instead you can focus your energy on the things that will fuel your next wave of growth.