Keeping your Startup Aligned with your Values

What are the values of the organization? Can those outside (or inside) the organization tell
what your values are? Can they watch how the members of the organization behave and infer the values?

Values are the filters through which decisions are run. Values are cultural norms that describe the basis for acceptable behavior. With repetition, recognition and reward, and reinforcement, values form practical habits that form observable behavior (Pearce, 2005). Continue reading

Mission, Vision, and Values

More than once, I’ve heard start-up entrepreneurs downplay the importance of having statements of mission, vision, and values. Frankly, this is very short-sighted. The leader may know the content of such things, as they perceive them, but they need to document and communicate with stakeholders and employees. Ultimately, employees should be able to find their work content and contribution in these governance documents. Continue reading

Why Should I Be Thinking About Organization Development and Organizational Change?

Come on, Steve! I’ve just gotten this business funded and running and you want me to worry about Organization Development and Organizational Change! You’ve got to be kidding!

The suggestion seems premature and excessive. It’s not. As the organization forms and grows, even as a start-up, it goes through an enormous amount of change. An organization is a large system with many moving parts. Shifting or wiggling one of those parts moves and affects all of them. Decisions are being made regarding processes, tools, organization structure, systems, skill development, symbols, and style whether they are conscious, in-context, aligned with the organization’s strategy, or not.

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