Start-up step 1: A culture plan

By Frank Addante   Article  Shutterstock image

“I used to think that company culture happened naturally.  After starting and building five companies, I’ve learned that great culture doesn’t just happen—you need to make it happen.  In general, a company’s most expensive asset is its people.  So it surprises me that so many companies fail to develop a culture or “people plan” to invest in and grow that asset.

When I started my most recent venture, the Rubicon Project, an online marketplace for buying and selling ads, the first thing I did was create a blueprint for our culture.  I talked with the founding team about the kind of organization we wanted to build and the values that we’d instill to guide our employees.

We didn’t start with a business plan, product roadmap, or marketing budget.  Why?  Well, what I have learned is that as you’re growing a business, everything around you is constantly changing.  The market, the product, competitive landscape, and economy all change.   Your business plan and product are far easier to evolve than your people.  I firmly believe that the difference between a good company and a great one is the strength, passion, and loyalty of its people.

Here’s how to design your “people plan”: ….”

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