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What's inside:
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Overview

Exploring company culture

Designing your mission

Creating your vision

Defining your values

Bringing your culture to life

Keeping your culture alive

Takeaways & next steps

Talent & Leadership

9 MIN

How to Scale Your Startup Culture and Values

In a world where technology is increasingly commoditized—and multiple teams and companies have similar products—what sets great companies apart? Based on our experience at M13 and LifeLabs Learning helping over 1,000 innovative companies scale, we’ve seen that it’s the speed and quality of execution that counts.

What makes great execution possible? A healthy culture of learning, belonging, and high performance. The right culture will help attract, retain, engage, and empower talented employees, and give them a clear framework to do their best work.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what makes the best cultures (hint: it’s not the same thing for everyone) and how founders and leaders should build and scale their cultures from the start.

What is a “good” culture?

Let’s begin with a tale of two cultures. Imagine you take a look at the offices of two different companies, side by side (in a pre- or post-COVID world). In one, employees sit in solitary cubicles, wearing suits and ties, and never taking a lunch break. In the other, hoodie-clad employees huddle in clusters across an open-floor plan, some brainstorming together in beanbags, some pair-programming, and some playing a passionate round of Ping-Pong. Which is the “better” culture?

Of course, it’s a trick question. Despite what many of us in the high-growth tech ecosystem have come to believe, there is no such thing as an objectively “good” or “bad” culture. There is only a culture that is a good (or bad) fit for your goals, the type of company you want to build, and the people you want to be a part of it. Your culture needs to support the business and personal objectives you want to achieve.

For example, a culture of slow, methodical perfectionism might crush a tech startup but be essential in a children’s hospital. A culture of playfulness might be the secret to innovation at an advertising agency but threaten the safety of a nuclear power plant. A spirit of competition may drive success at a hedge fund but destroy a nonprofit.

In this first guide of Human Capital: The Essential Guide to Scaling People Systems, we’ll give you a step-by-step overview of how to decide what the right culture is for your organization, how to turn it into a reality—and keep it that way.

We’ll cover:

1

Exploring company culture

2

Designing your mission

3

Creating your vision

4

Defining your values

5

Bringing your culture to life

6

Keeping your culture alive

7

Takeaways & next steps

Talent & Leadership

9 MIN

How to Scale Your Startup Culture and Values

Matt_DSC7919_fin.jpg
By Matt Hoffman
tania.png
By Tania Luna
Vision, Culture & Values hdr2 copy v2
Share
What's inside:
Done Icon

Overview

Exploring company culture

Designing your mission

Creating your vision

Defining your values

Bringing your culture to life

Keeping your culture alive

Takeaways & next steps

In a world where technology is increasingly commoditized—and multiple teams and companies have similar products—what sets great companies apart? Based on our experience at M13 and LifeLabs Learning helping over 1,000 innovative companies scale, we’ve seen that it’s the speed and quality of execution that counts.

What makes great execution possible? A healthy culture of learning, belonging, and high performance. The right culture will help attract, retain, engage, and empower talented employees, and give them a clear framework to do their best work.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what makes the best cultures (hint: it’s not the same thing for everyone) and how founders and leaders should build and scale their cultures from the start.

What is a “good” culture?

Let’s begin with a tale of two cultures. Imagine you take a look at the offices of two different companies, side by side (in a pre- or post-COVID world). In one, employees sit in solitary cubicles, wearing suits and ties, and never taking a lunch break. In the other, hoodie-clad employees huddle in clusters across an open-floor plan, some brainstorming together in beanbags, some pair-programming, and some playing a passionate round of Ping-Pong. Which is the “better” culture?

Of course, it’s a trick question. Despite what many of us in the high-growth tech ecosystem have come to believe, there is no such thing as an objectively “good” or “bad” culture. There is only a culture that is a good (or bad) fit for your goals, the type of company you want to build, and the people you want to be a part of it. Your culture needs to support the business and personal objectives you want to achieve.

For example, a culture of slow, methodical perfectionism might crush a tech startup but be essential in a children’s hospital. A culture of playfulness might be the secret to innovation at an advertising agency but threaten the safety of a nuclear power plant. A spirit of competition may drive success at a hedge fund but destroy a nonprofit.

In this first guide of Human Capital: The Essential Guide to Scaling People Systems, we’ll give you a step-by-step overview of how to decide what the right culture is for your organization, how to turn it into a reality—and keep it that way.

We’ll cover:

1

Exploring company culture

2

Designing your mission

3

Creating your vision

4

Defining your values

5

Bringing your culture to life

6

Keeping your culture alive

7

Takeaways & next steps

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