Having a successful start-up culture is as important (if not more) as the company’s product/service, team, and timing. Because an unsavoury work culture has the potential to send the business downhill, joining the 90% of start-ups which fail in the first five years of their existence.
What is a start-up culture?
The start-up culture conversation is a relatively new one and, most times, has been dismissed as laid back and creative; unlike the well-known company culture which can sometimes be rigid and formal. But the start-up culture is so much more than wearing joggers to work, pet-friendly offices, and having ping-pong tables to destress.
The start-up culture is vital to the growth and success of the company. Like society or work culture, it is about shared company values, team relationships and interactions, what the start-up represents, and the unsaid psychology of the business. It defines the way people in a company interact and work with one another. The start-up culture is also unique as it “offers a sense of autonomy, openness, and free-flowing creativity.” – blog.proofhub.com. This could be due to its often fast-paced environment. Thus, a successful start-up culture should possess some, if not all, of the following elements among a list of others that exist.
A growth mindset
As mentioned above, things can change quickly in the start-up space and a growth mindset can help the team face challenges as they appear.
Good communication all the time
Transparency should be the watchword for all organisations, not just start-ups. It is a great characteristic of any culture – society, work or start-up. Open and free-flowing communication in the good and not-so-good times will eliminate confusion and give clarity to the team.
This is another element of a successful start-up culture. Each team or unit regards the other as an equal contributor to the smooth running and growth of the company. No unit thinks that another is not smart enough or looks down on it or believes that a certain unit is overpaid.
A successful start-up culture is nothing without integrity cutting across the board – how it treats its customers, handles employee matters, and operates its business. And the integrity is never turned off. Not in the easy times and especially during the tough ones.
None of the above characteristics will form a successful start-up culture if the founder(s) does not champion them by his/her leadership examples. The founder is the culture creator and driver of the company.
Read also: Why Start-ups are Important in Africa
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