5 Reasons Why Company Culture is the Key to Startup Success

Can company culture make or break your firm?   I recently had the privilege of joining my friend and the Chairman and CEO of Shaklee Corporation, Roger Barnett, at “Shaklee Live,”  an annual conference to which Shaklee’s global sellers are invited. The content reminded me of my days as a student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, including principles instilled by labor economist Ed Lazear’s “Incentives and Productivity” course, Jim Lattin’s “Sales” course, and James Baron’s course on human resources/organizational behavior. Simply put, company culture matters. Roger Barnett started his keynote by reminding the auditorium of 10,000, “We are here because we have the power to change people’s lives from ordinary to amazing.” Barnett and the speakers that followed him continually underscored that Shaklee can be the vehicle to “unleash the potential of all human beings to ‘live amazing lives.’” As such, Barnett’s third great introduction of the day was the Shaklee “Bill of Rights.” In it, he articulates a worldview easy to want to embrace. Paraphrased, some key tenets include: unleashing your full potential; working to thrive, not just survive; being part of a community; making a positive impact on said community and the importance of giving back; living free of toxins and stress; experiencing the world; and “living younger, longer” (my personal favorite). Beyond great products, great technology, and great credentials, what is the secret ingredient of success at this remarkable Fortune 500 company? Culture. How does a strong corporate culture inspire intrinsically-motivated, passionate, loyal and dedicated team members? People need to be able to articulate the company’s vision clearly and succinctly. When your team can communicate the company’s vision clearly and...