Sunday, January 10, 2010

Creating Company Culture First

I just completed The EMyth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber. He outlines the reasons why businesses don't succeed and tells you how to change that for your small business.  The main downfall of most small business is that the owner manages it alone.  The owner never learns how to create a system so they don't have to be at the business the entire time.  The section on creating a process is entitled, Prototyping the Position: Replacing Yourself with a System.(p.179)  This is the key to any successful business. Who wants to wake up one morning and realize that you can't take a vacation because if you do, the entire business will collapse?
I sure don't!

My whole goal in creating my business is to replace myself as soon as possible. This is a huge battle because it involves trust. We have to trust our system and relinquish our egos. I think many of us are tied to the idea of, "If I want it done right, I have to do it myself."  Well, that statement is laden with work, stress and no vacations!  In creating a business we have to latch on to humility and trust. Humility will allow us to listen to ourselves, clients and employees. Trust will allow you to build on those relationships and develop a system that will enable you to know that the work will be done with or without you.  Preferably without you!

In a recent interview Tony Hsieh of talked about creating a culture of trust at Zappos. How does he do this? Well, he wants to know, "How weird are you?"  This offbeat question actually gets to the heart of Zappos. They want innovative thinkers! They want risk takers! Read more at

Stay in the Know!

1 comment:

Mark said...

Great blog article - actually hits a note with me. A friend of mines father is in the situation where he can’t 'get out' as the company is built and relies too heavily on him. My friend has been trying to 'wean' him off it, but its become an institution in terms of thinking. There is no way (although he is apparently trying to) he can simply leave the business as all customers are there because of him. He is the expert (in a small town) so that’s the sticking point.......but he is trying to introduce someone new and get them to stick with the place for several years.....then start to transfer customers trust around. Of course it can be done - but the key point is, someone who builds their business for 30 years doesn’t really want to let go of it !

The point I took from this is we have to ensure we don’t spend more than 10years on each business idea I think. That way we keep fresh, but we also have the forethought of sale and we are not too embedded.

Actually a company I’m involved with at the moment appears to have exactly the problem as per your blog. I think I should buy the book anonymously on Amazon and get it delivered to them – may help them a huge amount. I am certainly going to buy that book as want to make sure I am aware of the 'key markers' going forward and avoid the 'pitfall' trap. I know I tend to migrate naturally to ‘clutch’ my own business (ideas, inventions etc), so need to try and move myself away from straight ownership to owner-seller mentality.