Erik Barnlund

Maintaining Our Culture as We Grow

Developing a company culture is so much more straightforward when everyone reports to the same home office.

You see the same teams of people frequently. And if you’ve been successful in building a healthy corporate culture, your business becomes your home away from home. It’s the people you do life with every day.  It’s your office family.

As a result, creating synergy in the form of your company culture is more simple, straightforward, direct and obvious.

mavidealocations

Growing in new locations: The culture challenge

Many organizations struggle to maintain the culture they established in the home office when they open a new branch or as they grow in a new marketplace.

Large organizations that we’re all familiar with have struggled with this very issue. Some have adapted and risen to the challenge. Others become lost in conflict and confusion.

With every new market comes new cultural dynamics. Most people understand, for example, that the culture of Dallas, TX, is much different than that of San Francisco, CA.

How successfully a company folds local cultures into its overarching corporate identity will determine its eventual success or failure.

Expansion. Culture. And clarity.

As you know, we’re big fans of creating cultural clarity here at Mavidea.

You can read about our commitment to a clear culture, how we work toward achieving it, how it helps us address challenges and what it means to our business in our Mavidea culture archives.

We believe a clear business culture makes us more healthy, nimble and able to apply more horsepower to the road when we want to go fast.

Clarity and the road ahead for Mavidea

We recently opened a second, third and fourth sales hub in Nashville, Dallas and Champaign. And the vision we have of creating organizational clarity throughout these new locations came into play as we built our strategy.

How will we replicate the cultural identity we’ve established in Bloomington as we grow into these new locations? Will we still be able to fulfill our purpose, to “have fun serving others”?

Will we be successful in building the same kind of identity in the new markets we enter?

I believe we will and that we have done the work up front that is necessary to create healthy cultures in these three new locations, just like the one we have at Mavidea Bloomington.

I’ve tried to capture some of our thought process in the points below.

4 things you must do to maintain a healthy culture in a new location

 

You have to know who you are right now. Has your company established a purpose or mission statement for your organization? Has your business answered the question of why you exist? Usually, the owner or CEO has that answer. But it needs to be crystalized into a statement that’s easy to communicate and share so that your leadership team, clients and communities understand it as well. With no purpose, you lack direction. Without direction, you lose that vital horsepower that comes from your employees on a daily basis. You must know who you are and why you exist or you’re never going to be anything more than an organization going through the motions each day.

You have to have clarity to know who you are trying to become. Knowing who you are is important, but knowing where you’re going is paramount in determining the future direction of your organization. Can you identify that direction and establish the behaviors that you need to demonstrate and improve upon in your organization? Then you are more likely to not only reach the destination, but also get there faster. What good is a map without knowing where you want to go?

You got to have an interview process that can identify and recruit employees that align with not only who you are today, but also where you’re going tomorrow. If you remember, we’ve discussed the importance of understanding your core and aspirational values. Recruiting people who fit those values in new marketplaces will help insulate you from the differences and challenges each marketplace creates. For example, if your business enters both a free-spirited marketplace and a conservative marketplace, you have to recruit people who can fit and succeed in those distinct marketplaces.

Remember it’s not about building a workplace that’s identical to your home office. It’s about finding the right people and identifying those that align with clarity. It’s about knowing the difference between hiring people with skills and hiring people who support your values.

Building a strong team as we grow in new directions

We’ve now hired sales reps in Nashville and Dallas. As we do this, we’re doing our best to identify the best fit for both our current culture and our future as we attract new Mavideans.

I’m confident we’re going to build a culture that’s very similar to what we’ve built in Bloomington in those new markets, regardless of the challenges or differences they create for us.

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