The Founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, once said:
"CULTURE is one of the most precious things a company has"
He is right. A CULTURE builds a company, it reflects who they are, what they believe in and how successful they will be. This is why for the past year, in the IA, we've been building a culture of excellence; we have created a CULTURE that we are proud of and that shows off who we are and what we believe in.
Today, in the IA, we find ourselves creating a buisness, a startup. We've begun creating an ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE within the class; this culture is EXTREMELY important because as a company it will define who we are and our VISION. As a startup our culture will exemplify our VALUES as well; thus, it is important to define them since day one.
The main lesson that we've learned so far is to be ADAPTABLE. Startups develop and grow in an environment of extreme uncertainty; therefore, they can't have one plan set, they need to learn how to steer around. This is something we want to integrate as part of our culture. We want open-minded entrepreneurs who are comfortable with change. Additionally, most starups build an MVP (minimum viable product) and then test it in the market. They need to wait for the reaction of the costumers to make the improvements and launch the product again. The feedback from the costumers might radically change the plans and vision the company had for the product; this is why companies need to be ADAPTABLE with change and be able to move into another direction. Furthermore, ADAPTABILITY is what triggers I N N O V A T I O N because companies that are adaptable aren't afraid of taking risks, and taking risks can either lead to success or failure. If they fail, an adaptable startup would embrace those mistakes to improve their product instead of beign held down by setbacks and getting frustrated. An entrepreneurial culture is all about adaptability, adapt for improvements, new innovations and changes.
CULTURE is essential component of a startup because it's what will guide us to SUCCESS and also what defines the BRAND. Building a STRONG culture makes the employees performance better, not only because it make all the team work together and believe in the same vision, but it unites the company. The beauty of CULTURE is that it joins all the values and goals of the employees to create something bigger and more powerful. For example, in the IA we all believe that exemplifying a culture of excellence, creating a passion for learning, and adapting the way we learn to improve the way we live is important because it's what we believe in, our WHY. We've all worked together to create this CULTURE and exemplify it within the IA family. Currently, I believe that as a class we have such a strong culture that we will take on our values to build another strong culture within our smoothies startup. In the past year we have learned skills (adaptability, risk taking, creativity, work ethic, organization and more) that no class can teach you. I want to implement all of these skills we've gained as part of the CULTURE, but as a startup I believe that the most important one we need to embrace in the company is ADAPTABILITY.
TODAY is our chance to test the skills we've learned in IA in the real world. In these two weeks that we've been working on the business I've learned how VALUABLE the skills and everything we've done in the IA is. TODAY I can say how much the IA has prepared us for the real world. A book and lesson can teach you about business models and innovation, but only EXPERIENCE will teach you how to build a culture, maintain it and how important it really is to accomplish your goals. It will be the only THING that set us apart from other companies who provide the same product as us.