Wells and I first met in 2007 at an early morning ATDC Bible study. We spent a year getting together every week to read through the Bible and discuss how it applied to our lives. That’s how we really got to know each other.
Since then, he married Kate, had three children, built two companies, sold one, worked for the acquirer, almost died, came back to the Bible study, became a disciple of Christ, joined a church, worked as an Entrepreneur in Residence at ATDC, left the Bible study, and started a new company. A real entrepreneur!
There Are No Books
I love Wells. He is intelligent, thoughtful, loving, and passionate about what he does. And now he wants to write a book.
“What? You? Why?” I asked.
“Everybody talks about the importance of corporate culture. But I can’t find anywhere how to practically apply it in the day to day workings of my company,” he explained.
“I am going to figure this out and write about it. If I am wrestling with this problem as I grow my company, I bet other entrepreneurs are struggling with this, too,” he said.
“I thought corporate culture was applied in a company simply by how the founder behaves,” I said.
Deciding to be Intentional
“I agree, but there has to be more. I believe you have to be intentional. There must be a plan and methods which are employed. This will ensure the culture is reinforced every day as the company grows,” he explained.
“That sounds right. In fact, I’ve heard Kyle Porter of SalesLoft talk about this. Kyle really believes in getting culture right. Every time he gets in front of employees and customers, he talks culture. He wants people to know who SalesLofters are and what they value,” I said.
“That’s a good way to apply culture. Talk about it. But there must be other ways. When I search the web on this topic, I don’t find a whole lot. There is plenty written on the importance of a strong and well-defined culture but very little on how to practically apply it every day,” he said.
“Now you have me thinking about it,” I said. “Kyle also has thought a lot about this as part of the interview process for new candidates. He has specific interview questions focused on culture. I don’t know anybody else who does this.”
“That’s a great idea on how to be intentional,” he responded.
Seed of a Good Idea
Wells is onto something. He’s a smart guy and very sensitive to the market he serves. More importantly, he is very sensitive to his community. And his community is fast-growth startup entrepreneurs. Wells gets it. He gets them.
As Wells does his research, maybe I can convince him to share it with all of us. I know we will all benefit. As a Georgia Tech engineer and serial software entrepreneur, Wells will give us practical ways to apply corporate culture in the daily, routine activities of our businesses.
Please share with Wells and the rest of our readers how you apply culture in your company. I know you do it. Take the time to share your ideas and experience in the comments section of this blog post.