Startups · Entrepreneurship

Is culture driven by a viable business model or by keeping employees happy?

Uzair Usman Partner at Usman Group | Independent Business Consultant

September 16th, 2016

I can not help but ask this question to advisors and also myself. For some reason we have a very high turnover of employees. We have not been able to get to product market fit yet after all of our tests. Considering these facts, I would like to know if keeping this employees will be a matter of having them involved with activities and benefits or should it be all a matter of finding the right business model?
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Barney Kramer Business Advisor, Executive, Trainer & Coach, Public Speaker,

September 16th, 2016

Both. They are not mutually exclusive. Leaders are able to build the culture they want and then match the talent to that culture which yields and engaged, productive workforce. Barney Join me for my no cost "New Leadership Paradigm Webinar" with a click http://conta.cc/2c1wV5v *"Moving From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be Starts Here"* * www.smaleadershipquiz.com * *S**incerely,* *Barney Kramer, President/CEO* *(209) 444-6549 phone* *www.smra1.com *

Rob G

September 16th, 2016

I don't think culture is driven by either.  companies tend to take on the 'personality' of the founder(s). As the company grows this 'personality' can morph with conscious effort by others, but it usually doesn't stray too far from the original.  Microsoft's 'cutlure' was very much a product of Bill's personality in the early days, same with Apple (Steve), same with Amazon (Jeff). If you are loosing employees it likely has little to do with culture.  Some employees prioritize stability - knowing their job is secure into the future.  If you can't find product/market fit these people will get nervous and leave for a more 'stable' environment.  Other's thrive on challenging and interesting work (assuming they can also depend on a steady paycheck).  These people will loose interest If you keep pivoting to markets/products/tech that don't interest them.  Others may just be loosing confidence in management - seems a bit backward to be hiring employees before reaching product/market fit.  Involving them in 'activities' pales in comparison to demonstrating that management knows how to lead. People want to win.  they want to experience success. constant marches down the wrong path gets tiring and raises serious red flags about what lies ahead. Involving them in the decisions about what paths to take can help, but they still need to experience some level of success soon or they will lose interest. 

Venkat Rangamani

September 16th, 2016

I'd go with "finding the right business model" - also known as finding product market fit. You have to go back and read this legendary essay - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/marc-andreessen-product-market-fit-startups-marc-andreessen

Product-market fit above all else. If there is a demand for your product and people are willing to pay for it, that momentum can be used to fuel all other journeys - the journey to build a great team, the journey to build a great culture etc. but nothing succeeds like success and early success is the best success. A successful entrepreneur is rewarded disproportionately for finding product market fit, i.e., for the risky job of giving up whatever you do to bring home a paycheck and go hunting for that space where there is a market need that is aching for a product / service. Before you go from farmer to a hunter, make sure you are in a place where there is some big wildebeest, then show you can bring home one or two of them. Once you do that, you won't have a great deal of trouble finding other hunters to join your mission. 

Rod Abbamonte Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute

September 17th, 2016

Business model and team happy not or.