As a business moves through its various cycles from start up to mature and then to its’ perpetuation stage there are various drivers which contribute and shape the culture of the organization. At the beginning of the business there is lots of attention focused on revenue. Sales are all that appear to count. To a degree this is justified as without cash the business cannot sustain itself into future stages. Some businesses unfortunately fail because their growth expectations and the associated expenses outpace the revenue stream. During these initial years of either a startup or even a mature business which undergoes new leadership or new product diversification these cash flow – revenue focused efforts place the company culture into a challenging place if leadership is not careful with their decisions.
When we look deeper into the revenue and expense activity of the business, we can break revenue into Top Line focus or Bottom line outcome focus. Top line can be further stratified by the nature of the revenue effort. One being stable growth – consistent over time or the other being more hyper growth with substantial peaks and some valleys but for the most part the upward escalation curve is significantly rapid.
We can also break down the expense view of the business when viewing the entity through the lens of the bottom line focus. To stratify it we can view the outcome of profit to benefit the owner(s) or more holistically to bring benefit to the group of share/stake holders of/in the business.
These views or lens by which an organization is looked at will influence the nature of the culture and thus the actions, decisions, and directions it takes during the different phases or cycles of its existence. I vividly recall the software organization I was part of earlier in my work career. It shifted from what I would call a nurture and mature culture to a churn and burn culture as the organization prepped itself to go for an initial public offering on the stock exchange. The future stockholders and current ownership would greatly benefit from a growth curve which was substantially hyper in nature but was repetitive over multiple quarterly cycles. The actions and decision to make this happen were very evident on a daily basis and caused significant pressure for revenue performance. What would have been a “Good” salesperson under a prior life cycle was now a salesperson who was under performing and would be replaced if not achieving monthly, quarterly and annual contribution objectives. This is no way advocates for or against such efforts or practices. It just needs to be fully understood and appreciated as to the intent and objectives by which it is executed.
This is just one set of elements which cause a business culture to be influenced and ultimately shaped by the various pushes and pulls of the industry, marketplace, leadership etc. Other factors such as the drive behind a more entrepreneurial driven culture vs a more corporate/enterprise platform influences that nature of the culture and the environment inside the organization.
This week take a look at the various influencers which shape the current and then future direction of your organization. Be open to the fact that you might have opposing dynamics which are causing a stalemate in your organization growth and development. Part of the organization is pushing in one direction and the other part of the organization is pulling in a different direction causing confusion, communincation challenges and generally a broken culture.
Your Promise Guide at JKL Associates can bring their guidance to assist in identifying potential counter working cultural drivers so you can evaluate and then make a strategic decision on the future outcomes for the business. Give us a call at MI (313) 527-7945 or FL (407) 984-7246