(B) Do you remember “People Express” or the “HP Way”? I believe that they are still part of the basic case studies in business schools to learn about the value of corporate culture. Start-ups are driven by passion. But passion is a fire that weakens over time if the company does not have any culture that can sustain it. I learned a long time ago that you lead by example. And culture is made by the leaders.
In one of his blog posts, Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist, has an introduction about what management teams should be about:
“Companies are not people. But they are comprised of people. And the people side of the business is harder and way more complicated than building a product is. You have to start with culture, values, and a commitment to creating a fantastic workplace. You can’t fake these things. They have to come from the top. They are everything. There will be things that happen in the course of building a business that will challenge the belief in the leadership and the future of the company. If everyone is a mercenary and there is no shared culture and values, the team will blow apart. But if there is a meaningful culture that the entire team buys into, the team will stick together, double down, and get through those challenging situations.”
A few blogs have commented recently about Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg stating that Netflix’s company culture document “may well be the most important document ever to come out of the Valley.” I did read again Mr. Reed Hasting’s presentation about Netflix seven aspects of culture – and yes – there is a wealth of thoughts into that presentation about managing people…
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