Despite the enormous role it plays in formulating a company’s identity company culture can be overlooked at times. It takes time to develop and is essential to maintain once established. I was reflecting on the topic after reading a tweet a few weeks back courtesy of Box’s founder, Aaron Levie.
Remember: Company culture is the most important asset to protect and the easiest one to lose.
— Aaron Levie (@levie) June 14, 2013
Reflecting on the quote and applying it to my professional experiences to date made me realize how true it rings and how company culture is critical to success.
Here at OpenView, we have had some great people work for us over the years who have played a pivotal role in developing our identity. While this identity is constantly evolving with each new hire, at its core our mission, vision, and values have remained the same. All three have shaped the underlying atmosphere fostered within the office. That’s what makes the firm such an amazing place to work.
However, company culture goes far deeper than simply ensuring you have a great workplace — it is also made up of the accompanying responsibilities and expectations that set you up for success. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have had with friends or family members regarding how poor their respective employer’s culture has become and how they dread heading to the office. Or perhaps how the loss of a few co-workers has completely changed the makeup of the organization and its “feel”. Luckily for me, that is a non-issue.
From our viewpoint on the OpenView investment team, finding companies that instill a positive, success/goal driven culture is equally important. It plays a pivotal role for these companies when recruiting and retaining top talent — one of their biggest pain points on a day-to-day basis — but it also contributes heavily to their employees’ productivity and quality of work. Without the right culture as a foundation, they may not be long for success.