Management literature is filled with long books about company culture. This post will tell you that winning culture is actually really simple. It will give founders an easy way to 10X the performance of their team. Simplicity is power. Use it.
A group of men armed with spears had cornered their prey. They felt excitement and relief. Soon they would return victorious to wild cheers from the tribe. The women had prepared for a feast. Tonight they would be eating, dancing and singing. It was the greatest part of being alive.
For more than 20,000 years, humans were hunters living in tribes. Life was harsh and brutal. Among the few pleasures was the feast. To get a feast required collaboration of the whole tribe. The adult men hunted. The boys assisted. The women prepared fire, fruits and water. Everyone contributed to their common goal. The feast.
Today our lives have changed. But our brains haven’t. Humans still get immense pleasure from collaborating to reach a successful outcome and then celebrate the victory together. When athletes win Olympic medals even the assistants and masseuses go bananas. And this fact is of great importance to startup founders.
The really simple way to build a winning culture
I coach startups on many different things. One of them is how to build a winning startup culture. And that is actually quite simple.
Founders must leverage the hunting tribe mentality. They must break down their journey into small milestones and turn these milestones into hunts. They must assign every team member a role in the hunt and provide a feast when it ends in success.
In practice it means this:
- Have team meetings Monday morning.
- Set one overall goal for the entire team to reach by Friday. Hang it on the wall.
- Place desirable rewards on a table. Like champagne, dinner reservations or concert tickets.
- When you reach the goal, celebrate hard and congratulate every single member of the team. Even the interns and advisors.
You now have a team that pulls in one direction. Now everyone knows their priorities. Now everyone is motivated and feels important and appreciated. And because of human history, you will develop a true winning culture in the process.