Right Culture for your Startup
Culture is how we deal with life, love, birth, death, disappointment,basically everything. This is why culture is the single most important thing in life, whether you are building a company or going about your personal goals.
I believe setting the right culture is the most important role of a CEO.
As Tony Hsieh, Internet Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist says in his book.Delivering Happiness??.If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff takes care of itself.
These thoughts inspired me to identify some core values, my beliefs, that have shaped the way I live my life. These core values have helped us (my startup Springr, www.facebook.com/Springrbuzz) shape a culture for our organization that is happy and creative.
1) Everything is connected? I couldn’t help but be amazed when the physics teacher in my 10th grade told me “As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm”.
Every department in science and every religion has stated the theory that every thing is made up of same substances or coming from the same place or part of a common thing.
Once I started thinking, everything living or non living is connected, it changed a few things in me.
Practically , it made me grateful for what I have, apologetic for my mistakes and compassionate towards my environment.
2) Sixth Sense??We all have been extensively trained to deal with our 5 senses??sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. I believe we have really not got much exposure on our strongest sense ie Intuition.
How do we define
* feeling happy just by thinking about winning in tomorrow’s game?
* trusting a person for what he/she is saying?
I did a research and learnt that there are techniques we can use to improve this sense, techniques that help us separate the signal from noise.
Practically, keeping your body(exercise), mind(meditate) and spirit(do what you love) aligned helps us listening to our inner voice better.
3) Risk is a perception??I feel the society has over glorified risk a lot of times. The reality, I believe, is that for a person taking a particular risk, not taking the risk is the bigger risk.
For an entrepreneur not taking the opportunity is the bigger risk.
Practically, it helps to write down the pros and cons of a situation we feel is a risk. 99.99 % of time there will be more clarity once we write the pros and cons down.
4) Knowledge shared is knowledge gained??I have been hugely benefitted from combined studies throughout academic life. I feel it is the quickest and the most efficient way to study.
Inspired by skills stated in Bloom’s taxonomy’s(which attempts to distinguish fundamental question on education) cognitive domain, I believe teaching is the best way of learning.
Practically, we(Springr) came out with our version to learn anything??GAR??Gather information -> Analyze -> Reproduce.
5) Trust, but verify??I believe the most important thing to execute an idea is to write it down and second, to verify assumptions.
This belief helps us deal with assumptions about our idea, people or anything.
Practically, it means don’t assume, go ahead and ask or at least GOOGLE!
6) Communicate to collaborate??Growing up in a military school (Sainik School, Kazhakootam) definitely helped me believe in team work a lot. There you need to stick together to survive.
I feel the possibilities to achieve anything sky rockets when we have a team. The best way to keep a team together and motivated is to communicate well and consistently.
Practically, be open in what you SAY, WRITE your instructions and DRAW your ideas.
7) Leadership starts with one small step??Someone wise has said “Leadership is not position, it is action”.
I have always believed, we don’t need to wait for someone to tell us what to do. I feel showing how its done inspires people to do it.
Practically, everyone can be a leader by simply taking initiative.
8) Miss is as good as a mile??This means trying to win is as good as winning.
Myth about failure and success??Our society believes failure is negative which withholds people to try something new fearing failure.
I have always believed failure is a stepping stone. If you fail 10,000 times(from 10,000 hour rule from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers) at something, you will definitely succeed.
Practically, every time we fail at something, find the learning curve.
9) Criticize ideas, not people??I believe disagreements create magic.
It means it is ok to argue, but it has helped me not to bring people as subjects. It feel this way it helps build productive conversations and avoid negative energy.
Practically??Catch on opportunities to discuss ideas and avoid situation blaming people.
10) Everything happens for the good??I’ve been lucky to be brought up by my parents to believe that everything happens for the good. This way every weakness becomes an opportunity and every failure becomes a strength.
Practically??When things are not going well, think picture abhi bhi baaki hai!
The intent of this article is to get you thinking and started on hacking your life. 🙂