Fostering a culture of growth.
Stealth Venture Labs specializes in bringing dramatic and previously unprecedented levels of growth to early stage companies. To consistently do this requires tools, techniques, the right strategy and attitude, along with product market fit (see our New Venture Success Criteria). Assuming you have these things, then it’s possible to create a culture of growth which should be the aspirational goal of any growth minded company, as we all know the famous Drucker maxim: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
Creating a culture of growth cannot be achieved by just incessantly demanding more and more from your team and company. It’s about process, perspective and balance. Ultimately culture can’t be forced, it must be fostered, as culture only exists in the essence of how you are perceived.
Turn it up to 11, then hit pause.
First to specialize in bringing growth you have to adopt the mindset that your work is never done. That there is no growth without risk and “change is the only constant”. The growth mindset requires a deep discontentment with the status quo. Adopting this mindset is hard on the psyche and can be hard on a team too, unless it is adopted into the organizational culture in a healthy way. To drive growth you need to critically assess what you have, and seek out areas for improvement. But there needs to be a culture of support and clear on/off setting with this thinking or even the most eternally positive person will eventually become disillusioned and exasperated.
A phased approach to growth and optimization helps avoid fatigue and allows the organization to focus and balance. Addressing each organizational pillar (outreach, acquisition, conversion, retention) in sequence keeps things fresh and moving forward on all fronts.
Creating a culture of growth requires a rethink on the very nature of productivity. Growth focused execution is not just about doing stuff, knocking down tasks, hustling, and being busy. It’s about all of these things set against the framework of tangible measurable improvement on the KPI’s that matter. Each person’s definition of success within their role should be trained on how they are moving the needle on a KPI critical to growth.
Look both ways and take care.
A failure to plan is a plan to fail, the importance of goal setting when driving growth is obvious, however looking backward, celebrating the past wins is equally as important. Making sure your organization balances fun, reward and respects the work life balance of its employees is key to creating a culture of growth and an environment where employees can bring their best. If you want the most from your employees support them the most you can. Get them the best healthcare options, give them bonuses, equity, be generous with found money created from the lift of company growth.
2 Overriding employee success factors
Hiring “A” talent, who embrace and personify a culture of growth is critically important. “A” talented employees not only represent the top decile of their industry, but they are comfortable and thrive on being measured, coached and critiqued. If a person is going to thrive inside of an organization that has a culture of growth then there are 2 definite requirements.
The person has to embrace change and be a lifelong learner. They have to have the desire for self-improvement and strive to be the best. They have to be a driven self-starter who doesn’t need much more than a job description and KPI scorecard to get to going.
Additionally the person has to have the ability to look inward and change. This requires them to hear criticism or coaching and work on their weaknesses. As we strive and grow its inevitable that we will bump up against the limitations of the individuals not just the constraints of the market. “A” talent is brave enough and supported enough in the environment and organizational culture to face down their inner demons and either change what needs to be changed or adapt for success.
A Culture or growth doesn’t happen overnight.
Growth has to be fun and enjoyable. The team and company have to enjoy the process as much as the result. Growth requires a consistent data driven methodology involving measurement, testing and optimization along with a commitment to work with the best tools and employees.
Creating a culture of growth is an ongoing journey of perpetual self-reflection and improvement. Helping companies and employees realize their dreams of growth is an amazingly rewarding privilege at the core of my company’s mission and its driven me throughout my career.
To learn more about the dramatic growth enjoyed by Stealth Venture Labs partners visit our website and read our case studies. Stealth Venture Labs is an equal opportunity employer visit our careers page to learn more.