Cultivating Intentional Startup Culture: A Journey from Survival to Strategy

Being intentional about your #startup culture is a hard thing to do. Many founders underestimate this but I see the following pattern all too often, in the work that I do.

It starts with Founders wearing multiple hats, covering multiple agendas – the bootstrapping, MVP & market fit, countless investor decks and the first forays into hiring strangers. These high-octane, self-sufficient early days are everything but aren’t typically culturally intentional, but survival focused.

By the time you’re hitting 30-50 strangers to rally around your cause, the complexity & compliance leads to the first HR hire, or a maybe still a multiple-hat wearing Operations person with a primitive tech stack, focused on better recruitment and administration enablement, as traction builds up & people matters get messy.

The 7 or 8 years of experience #HR persona template is bought, typically with a Recruiting heritage as the obvious bias is on growing the team to meet demand. But honestly, that profile is still a professional in its infancy, half a decade away from writing in hindsight about the mistakes they made in this gig, given their inexperience. Not a pop but once again, because the act of creating intentional cultures is typically a blind spot & they lack the skills & experience to deliver it effectively. It then gets left to chance, once again.

By now, there will be pockets of good and bad across the growing organisation, because to date that culture has been accidental and not intentional. Public value statements are token, blame sets in, human complexity becomes a problem and the CEO find themselves facing inwards, dealing with the consequences, too often.

Recognising that recurring problem, here’s where I have come in, on a fractional/part-time basis and help, before dysfunction and division takes root. In the past, I’ve supported the incumbent HR and/or Management team to solve this by:

🧠 Understanding the gap between the aspirational value-creating business and the current reality.
🤝 Embracing intentionality as a strategy.
🚚 Delivering solutions through collaborative, iterative and positively intentional interventions.
👩‍🏭 Working the system constantly, adding more positive intentions, with feedback and the external market guiding you, not a top-down prescriptive programme that typical consultancies will sell. By being immersed on part-time basis do you add much more than the infrequent, team strategy offsite.

Sound a familiar scenario? Interested in learning more about how #fractionalHR could help you & your business?

Drop me a message and let’s talk :

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