Business consultant Peter Drucker once said “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and I’m a believer. Culture is everything.
It’s true that you can have a financially successful company leading by fear and threatening to fire people if they don’t follow your lead. But fear-based leadership styles and cultures pit people and departments against each other, chase out the best talent, and cause turnover to flourish. Those who choose to stay end up working in misery, surrounded by jealousy, gossip, and extreme competition with co-workers who should be partners and friends.
I can promise you that a culture of happiness, trust, and safety will bring more lasting success to any business venture than a culture of fear ever will. A humanity-focused culture allows qualities like compassion, care, loyalty, and empathy to shine. Innovation thrives, productivity increases, and the best talent stays. If your employees feel taken care of, your clients will feel taken care of, which in turn takes care of your investors and stakeholders. A focus on a healthy culture is a focus on the emotional health of your employees. And a healthy culture has nothing to do with ping-pong tables or bagel Fridays.
In order to build a culture of safety and trust, your executives must lead by example. Cultural success starts with defining a set of core values that support the mission and vision of the company and using them as a compass for hiring and training employees. At Homie, we formed a culture committee comprised of employees at every level to uncover and define our core values. We live these values every day, making them a barometer for our success as a group and as individuals. As a result, employees feel confident in our expectations. They feel heard. They feel safe.
Homie’s Core Values: We’ve Got Your Back Loyalty
Fight For Your Right Balance
The Status Ain’t Quo Disruption
Check Yourself Humility
If you don’t focus on a culture of safety, you may end up with a culture rooted in anxiety and uncertainty. The good news is that it’s never too late to turn culture around. Many leaders have written books and created training guides on the topic.
Some of my favorites include Built on Values, The Advantage, Delivering Happiness, Start with Why, and Connexions Classroom. I’m happy to be a resource as well. Culture most definitely eats strategy for breakfast, but if you can combine the two by applying a well-defined strategy to create a culture of empowerment, your business will be unstoppable.
About Johnny Hanna:
Johnny Hanna is the co-founder and CEO of Homie. Homie is a tech-first brokerage building software to streamline home buying and selling with a mission is to eliminate unnecessary fees and commissions.
Homie is building a full-stack platform to simplify the entire process from contract to close – including home loans, title, escrow, and home insurance. Prior to Homie, Johnny was co-founder and president of Entrata, formerly know as Property Solutions, where he spent 12 years changing the face of the apartment industry by building market-leading real estate software.
Johnny helped grow the company’s revenues to over $100M in annual recurring revenue and over $1 billion in monthly rent payment processing. He led sales, client services, and human resources for Entrata.
He also focused on building an amazing workplace culture and hiring hundreds of employees that won Entrata “The Best Place to Work in Utah County” award. Entrata has received numerous awards like “Technology Fast 500” by Deloitte 2012, Utah’s 5th “Largest Job Creator” in First Annual Inc. Hire Power Awards 2012, Gold in 2012 W3 Web Creativity Awards, “Most Innovative” in MHN Technology Choice Awards, and “Best Consumer Products & Services App” by Tabby Awards. Johnny earned a B.S. in Business Management at BYU Idaho.