How to Change Your Business Culture

I was at the Ellevate Mobilize Women conference in New York City last week, and a number of the presentations and panel discussions centered around business cultures and how you can change them to create environments where everyone can rise equally.

This really got me thinking about the culture that we build into our businesses as business owners, because a lot of us are thinking about scaling, in the process of scaling, or are hiring new team members – and I’m pretty certain that company culture is not a priority.

Change the culture of your business as you grow it

After talking to a number of women across all different fields that have encountered negative cultures and seen culture clashes as businesses grew, I wanted to spend a few minutes talking with you about how you can consider or change the culture of your business as you grow it.

I’ve worked with a lot of business owners who have a hard-charging attitude about their business: they’re able to really push their businesses further and really push their teams to excel at their tasks… but their team is also afraid of them. Their team is not in the position to tell them “no” or that an idea should be reconsidered, or to even have a conversation about how everyone is impacted on a daily basis.

I’ve seen cultures where the unspoken rule is that you don’t question or rock the boat, with people walking on eggshells constantly. The symptoms of this culture could be your team underperforming. They shift blame or don’t want to take ownership of projects/tasks/activities. They are constantly coming back to you with questions. They’re asking you for approval for every little thing. If you see this, then there might be a culture problem in your business – so how do you change it?

What can you do to successfully build your own business culture?

  1. The first thing is to define what kind of culture you want to have in your business. If you say – hey, I want us to be hard-charging, I want us to be aggressive and do whatever it takes to push and drive the ball forward – that’s totally fine, but make sure that you’re hiring to that culture and not hiring people who are strongly attached to being in a nurturing culture, who are very sensitive, and who may not be able to withstand that kind of pressure and that kind of business culture.
  2. Secondly, be transparent about it! Don’t sell somebody one type of corporate culture and say – “hey, we’re all about collaboration, friendship, and being team players” – when that’s really not the case. You’re setting up your team up to fail and you’re sending them mixed messages about what’s acceptable in your business. Your actions speak louder than your words; when there are mixed messages is when the unspoken, secret subculture develops that is so damaging for teams. Be open about what your company culture is,.
  3. Lastly, enforce that culture. Walk your talk and set the example for your team. Tone and culture start at the top, and the only way to instill or change your existing culture is to back up what you say with consistent actions every day. As business owners, we have so many freedoms… but we also have many responsibilities: setting the tone for the culture within our teams – especially when we are scaling and impacting more people – is one of our core responsibilities.

So, did these tips help? Are you thinking more about your corporate culture, or thinking of changing it?

If you have any questions, drop me a comment down below – I love hearing from you guys and am always happy to share feedback.

Until next time, this is Diane.

What should you ask yourself to see if you’re scaling your business properly?

These are the two true secrets to scaling your business. If you are scaling or thinking about scaling, ask yourself:

  • Do I have a systems roadmap for optimizing my resources and my workflows?
  • Do I have the right resources in places to help my team execute systems and processes in an efficient and productive manner?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, congratulations – you have a properly scaled business.

If this resonates with you, or if you’re ready to talk about building systems and scaling your business, reach out to me. I’m happy to connect and share feedback and brainstorm. Until next time, this is Diane.

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