Welcome to inDinero’s Progression Podcast Series.
Progression is about illuminating intelligent strategies for sustained business growth. In this post, Jessica Mah, inDinero’s Co-Founder/CEO, and I will discuss our strategies for growing inDinero from a dorm room dream to a thriving enterprise. Along the way we’ll also be inviting our clients from around the world to share their unique insights on what it takes to ascend through today’s global economy.
Today Jess and I are examining company culture—how to develop it, its’ key components, and how to ensure its continual growth.
Is company culture just a reflection of the founding member’s personalities? Or is it something you should consciously concoct? Once you establish your culture, does the focus become just maintenance, even as new team members come and go? Or is it a piece of your company that needs to evolve just as your products and services do?
These are difficult questions to answer, but ones whose resolutions can be the difference between meteoric success and a new address on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. We don’t profess to have definitive answers to these questions but through sharing our own experiences developing, maintaining, and evolving inDinero’s culture we hope it helps you think through the options your company faces.
Growing the inDinero Company Culture
As inDinero was first developing in a UC Berkeley dorm it was clear that a fun, collegiate atmosphere, centered around collaboration, would be the basis of our culture. Collaboration was not only a reflection of Jess’ personality but of the environment inDinero was born. It was also pretty obvious that a culture based on collaboration wouldn’t be decided without a group brainstorming session on the remaining component’s of the company’s personality. So through a series of passionate debates, not the least of which was whether there is such a thing as “work-life balance”, the team developed some initial ideas.
First of which was the physical space in which business was done. From the commencing dorm room, through a San Francisco town-house, and all the way to inDinero’s current office in the Financial District, an open floor-plan that fostered intra-team communication remained a central theme. In addition, the work-life balance battle still wages on. We hold a weekly book club encouraging continued professional development while balancing it with weekly team happy hours and goal-related adventures.
We have also found that rather than instituting culture as a tool to generate business results or simply as a veil to make work seem more fun it works best to tie the two together. Connecting company goals, such as sales targets, to fun rewards, like a trip to the Big Sur hot springs, keeps the team focused yet loose; a great combination in our experience.
But does that mean we’ve “figured out” company culture? Absolutely not. Culture is something we continually assess. Just as we adapt our products and services to compete with new competitors and to advance our industry, we adapt our culture to absorb the personalities of new team members while constantly looking for new ways to keep our company fresh and energetic. After all there’s more to business than just business. Whether your company rises to become the next Apple or doesn’t make it past year three, the culture of the team you work with is what people will remember.
Thanks for reading and make sure to check back every week for fresh blog posts!