Christian Leborg
Stage 1: “Leader as Mover and Shaker”

Building culture

There are three main stages to building a company – each has its own culture.

What is the building product stage culture? The first stage of organisational creation starts when you commit to forming an enterprise around an idea and ends when a customer begins using the product or service. A culture is beginning to exist where the function of the leadership is to supply the energy needed to make the organisation viable.

Why is culture important in the early stages? This stage is called the ‘developmental culture stage’ because it is associated with innovative leaders who focus on projects to deliver what has been promised to potential customers. Focus and resilience are needed to be able to do something that has never been done before.

How does culture affect the building of an enterprise? Founders need to have the flexibility, readiness and adaptability to be able to create an internal culture that generates external support. The creator of company culture has to attract customers, employees, partners, investors and the press to support a new idea.

“Success requires specific ‘startup leadership’ skills that change quickly, stage by rocky stage.” – Derek Lidow

When does the culture form? During the stage of building a product and finding real customers, the culture should emphasise on group work and ad hoc resolutions. The horizon for the leader at this stage should be as long as necessary to make a product that fits the market.

Who can influence a culture? The owner is the personality of the organisation. While there’s a culture made up by the whole team, it’s drawn from the personality of the founder. All start-ups will start to take on the leader’s strengths and weaknesses, and even show, for better or worse, her energy.

What happens in the next stage? The next developmental and cultural stage is about building usage among customers to have a bit of stability in addition to the establishment of processes that happen every day. The leader’s role shifts to hiring and then delegating more. Some of the employees are starting to specialise and take more responsibility.

I have had most fun starting up companies and enjoying the busy culture that accompanies it. It might get increasingly satisfying to get to 'run' a company smoothly.

Have you ever experienced the transformation between stages of development and the culture that follows it?

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg is a visual communicator and branding consultant. He specialises in building brand strategies and brand identities. Christian has worked with several specializations within visual communication as well as teaching and being an author. Christian now works on his third stint as an entrepreneur.