“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”: ….”