Company Culture

How do you know when company culture is so bad it's time to start fresh?

Ronethea Williams Business Development, Strategic Partnerships and Marketing at FounderDating

July 9th, 2013

This guy started over after 18 months.

Michael Barnathan Adaptable, efficient, and motivated

July 9th, 2013

First thing to do is define bad culture. I would argue that a bad culture is one which prevents you from shipping products, shipping products that people want, or demoralizing the people who need to work as a team to ship those products.

Having tried to reform a dysfunctional culture and giving up after a while (because it was ultimately coming from the CEO and no one else had the formal or informal authority to change it), triggering events which caused me to move on were:

1. More time spent arguing over what the product should contain than would take to just build it and start over
2. Targeting a market despite already knowing that it was too small, based on inertia and political infighting
3. An office culture that values the appearance of productivity over actual productivity

Large companies can afford this more than small ones because they aren't bound by an immediate need to ship or die. But in a startup, anything that prevents you from either iterating on a product or raising funds is a warning sign, because you're on a runway and need to get airborne by the time you hit the end of it.

Becca Ordonez Founder at Mustered

July 10th, 2013

According to Tribal Leadership, you need to create the culture you want and people are either going to self-select to be a part of that or they will leave. Sometimes you need to ask people to go. You can figure out the stage of your company culture through this quiz: