How to Build a Bulletproof Company Culture

“Author Pat Lencioni lays out how to build a culture that will endure long after you’ve left your business.”
By John Warrillow | Nov 2, 2010 |

In his most recent Book, Getting Naked, author Pat Lencioni uses a parable about a business owner who decides to sell his business. His corporate culture not only survives, but makes the business even more valuable.


He gives three ways to develop and grow your company culture.

“Step 1: Figure out who you are, not who you want to be”
“Step 2: Be picky when hiring and promoting”
“Step 3: Stay involved in hiring”

So as I read John Warrillow’s article on I had the following thoughts:

1) Does your company culture increase the intrinsic value of the company?
Any item that reduces risk to a third party purchaser, increases company value, i.e. it increases the multiple a party would consider paying for your company’s earnings because they are sustainable.

2) Can you define your company’s culture?
Many business owners cannot. Step 1 above relates to this very issue. Define why your company is successful and ingrain those items deeply into the fabric of your company. This assures a commonality of thought and continuity of the culture.

3) Do your people buy into the culture?
If they do not, you have the wrong people on your bus and you will not get where you want to go. Step 2 above also deals with promoting the right people. I worked for a company that had an exceptionally strong culture. The key to success within the culture was the willingness and ability to confront. Forty years after the founder’s death, it is still the single biggest determinant of success within the company and the way it conducts business.

4) Do you only hire people that fit the culture?
I restructured a department when I worked internationally. I was able to reduce head count, increase work responsibilities and turn around a department that had been viewed as the most poorly performing in the company. I did it by using Step 3. I hired people that fit the culture, I listened to their answers, looked at their back grounds and found people with the work ethic required to perform at the required level of company performance. One result was a person hired during my tenure, that became department head several years after my departure and stayed in that role for over ten years!

So develop a company culture that increases company value, creates sustainability and is replicated through the hiring and promotion process. This commonality of thought will drive your company’s success into the future and assure future generations continue those ideals that make your company unique!

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