Behind the Buzzword: Culture
Like many other terms thrown around in business, culture is mentioned as a crucial part of every company. It’s a compass guiding the employees to a true North set by the leadership and a mindset parroted across the board. We see culture listed on LinkedIn job postings and discussed by recruiters. We see it on company websites above pictures of community events and teambuilding exercises.
Culture in a business context takes on a different meaning, lost from overuse. In a recent episode of our podcast, we interviewed Sebastian Jimenez, founder of the successful startup Rillavoice. Our main topic of discussion wasn’t culture, but it cropped up deeper into the conversation. For context, Rillavoice has experienced incredible growth and continues to expand, so we had to know what enabled this pattern.
Sebastian answered, “Culture beats strategy, and it beats processes, it beats everything… Culture is the way that people make decisions when you’re not in the room, and you’re not in the room most of the time if you’re scaling a team. Most of the decisions that are being made about your business are not being made by you… you can make high-level decisions and set the vision, but you’re not making most of the decisions. So how do you allow, with very little managerial overhead, how do you allow people to make the right decisions at the right times not being guided by rules and bogged down by bureaucracy?”
Let’s break this down.
Sebastian asks, how do you allow your team to make the bulk of the choices for your company without direct oversight? Micromanaging won’t work; it’s detrimental to performance and speed. It ties up valuable resources on every little challenge, handicapping the team and wasting leadership’s time. Running a business this way is poisonous, and Sebastian believes the antidote is culture.
He even defines it nicely, “Culture is the way that people make decisions when you’re not in the room.” It’s a unifying set of principles, a blueprint for action, a method to the madness. If you listen to the rest of the podcast, you’ll find that Sebastian prioritized discovering, establishing, and upholding culture when founding Rillavoice, leading to incredible growth.
If we take anything away from this nugget of wisdom, never underestimate the power of company culture. So, establish a decision-making framework consistent with important principles. Make culture a cornerstone, and your team will have a blueprint to make sales, interact with clients, and represent the company well.
Creating a successful company culture will empower your team members and foster an environment encouraging people to buy in. Spend some time thinking through the right culture for your company and see how it affects your business. It may be more meaningful than just a buzzword.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
You may pull quotes from this article provided you include a link back to the original article on this site. You may not reprint this full article, or even a significant amount of the article, without explicit permission. To gain permission, click here.