I Want A Growth Culture, But The Business Isn’t Responding The Way I Thought It Should

Creating a growth culture with a clear company vision and mission are enormously important when it comes to scaling your business, reclaiming your freedom and for having any kind of business success overall.

Here’s the thing… If you have a clear vision of why you exist, a clear mission statement and clear standards as to how employees and customers are handled, then it makes it much easier to grow because it means that your employees will be able to make decisions—they won’t need someone (you!) to tell them how to make that decision.

For example, let’s take Domino’s Pizza and their “30-minute delivery or your pizza is free” guarantee. That’s clear. Every time a delivery driver goes out, their boss doesn’t have to remind them to be there in 30 minutes because they know that 30-minute time limit is a key part of the business.

Set Up Your Company Culture

You, as the owner, create the foundation of your company culture, both good and bad, and mostly through leading by example. If you have a team of three people in the beginning, it’s easier to maintain the company culture. But when you start getting generations of employees, it’s a little more difficult.

You and your first batch of employees create the business together—you set up the culture with those people. But when you start hiring a second wave, a third wave, etc., the culture can get diluted easily unless the culture is reinforced.

The key is to be proactive. Once you start scaling, you need to make a conscious effort to ensure the culture stays the same. You might need to sit down, literally, and discuss the parts of the culture that you and the other founding members of the company want to make sure stays the same. This could be a vision statement, or it could be a saying like “There’s no such thing as a dumb idea.”

You keep replicating that culture, creating key concepts or criteria, value statements, whatever you reinforce—e.g., the key traits you operate by. You use those traits to set up your culture so that employees at the lowest levels can understand and internalize the culture, which will keep it from dissipating.

Your actions speak louder than words. If you say every Friday is Casual Friday, but you come in wearing a suit and tie, that’s not reinforcing what you want to have happen. Behavior is modeled by what people see and observe more than what is said.

Hypocrisy will kill your culture and your chance of fully scaling your business.

Reward and act on the aspects of the culture you want to propagate. For example, you cannot say you have an open-door policy but your door is always closed and making an appointment to see you is harder than seeing the President.

If you want to reward innovation, then you also make it visible how you value the lessons from failures and that falling short on a project doesn’t ruin a career.

When you set up this culture structure, it becomes the DNA of your company. These core principles can exist anywhere, no matter where your business goes or grows to.