The Week in Review #25: The Difference Between Culture & Values

Saying something and doing something are two very different things. Take Enron for example. The company had a 62 page manual on their code of ethics. They had aspiring values such as integrity, respect and excellence. Yet, everything they did within the company was completely the opposite. Defining values for your business is just part of the equation. The true test is how those values are manifested in the day to day operations of the company. Employees will make decisions based on the culture before identifying with the organizations core values. There in lies the over arching difference between the two.

A polar opposite to Enron is a company called Zappos. For the first 6 years of operation they did not have formal core values. It was actually the employees at the company that pushed to outline them based on their stellar culture. The company not only outlined their core values, they built a slew of reinforcing structures. This included training programs, paying people to quit and their own culture book.

Ultimately, the success of any company depends on the people. Having the right values and culture in place is usually a precursor to achieving great things.

The Difference Between Culture and Values This article inspired this week’s post. It is a very well written piece outlining the differences between culture and values. Brad Feld who is another great VC and blogger wrote a response on his own experience with this topic. It is also a great read.

How to Prepare For Any Accelerator Interview While this article is positioned to help entrepreneurs with their pitch at accelerators, it is generally good advice for pitching. The author breaks down the common mistakes made and what makes good pitches.

How Companies Can Avoid the Innovator’s Dilemma Disruption and business models is what is discussed in this article. It is a long read with several great case studies ranging from P&G, Facebook and Netflix. The primary take away is a set of rules that companies can adopt to avoid disruption.

The Art of Waiting I could relate deeply with this article. As entrepreneurs we are always in a rush to get to our destination. The only problem is that reaching it usually takes a lot longer than expected. With a mix of bad direction, delays and unforeseen disasters; everything takes longer. Learning how to wait it out is a key skill that every entrepreneur needs to have in their arsenal.

How Startups Should Get Their First 1000 Customers Customer acquisition is the life blood of every business. Knowing how to acquire your customer is key to your success. Dan Martell outlines the vital elements that your strategy needs to include.

Lessons from the front lines: building Fetchnotes This article is from the founder’s perspective after his company was acquired. This is a long yet very enjoyable and insightful read. Topics range from product development, managing cash, raising funding, marketing, people and most importantly being a founder. Take the time to sit back and read this post in it’s entirety.

The Inside Story on How SurveyMonkey Cracked the International Market SurveyMonkey has enjoyed phenomenal success expanding it’s product. However operating in new market’s isn’t as simple as just opening an office and hiring some people. This post outlines in great detail about their international strategy. What worked and what didn’t. Lots of great lessons to be learned.

Have a great week everyone!