Culture Development & First Aid
Culture is the operating system for your organization, directing what people care about and what they do. It includes your company’s deepest values, beliefs, mindsets, and behavioral norms. Healthy cultures align your people with your strategy, setting you up for executional excellence. Healthy cultures are also self-aware, so the things unique to them can be maintained through periods of rapid growth, acquisition, and change.
“Caneel quickly and thoughtfully putting together a founder retreat program to address scaling challenges by defining senior leadership accountabilities. She helped us through the process of letting go of areas that are no longer ours to own as our roles change within the company.”
— Christine Carrillo, CEO, Joany
Growth can radically alter a company culture and in ways that can be problematic. If your company is growing fast you might realize things are changing so quickly that you, and the company, are having an identity crisis. Maybe you see people in the hallways you didn’t hire, and don’t recognize. Whispers float around about the “good old days”, and you start to realize that the company you so carefully built is changing. But what if the things that make your company different, impactful, and special vanish? What if you end up running a company whose culture you don’t recognize?
Caneel will take your company through a “Be–Do–Have” process to better understand the culture as it is now and as it needs to be in the future. The goal is to define the company culture to attend and highlight what’s working well in the company structures, processes and systems, and communications, so that your culture can be defined, protected, and ultimately scaled up without losing its soul.
When your company is growing fast, sometimes the wheels start falling off. Bigger should mean better, right? Then why are things getting worse? As hiring increases, culture is being formed in ways you’re no longer able to see, or control. And it’s a terrific opportunity to grow beyond where you are today, but that requires a new model be put into place. Startups and venture-backed tech companies face a unique set of challenges - what works for bigger and established companies seldom works for smaller ones, but how does one transition out of a startup on the way to something bigger?
Caneel has often been described as “spookily insightful” as she quickly assesses the organizational and people dynamics at play. She’ll diagnose the situation and design a first aid intervention (communications or accountability trainings, surgical injections of coaching, a leadership offsite, a pressure release valve, or a communications plan - or some combination of things) that can rapidly stop the spinning so that you can get the space you need to think long term.
Culture is shaped, changed, and reinforced through day to day operations. From onboarding to one-on-ones, org design to management development, OKRs to performance reviews, people are the hands and legs of your company, enabling it to do all the things it does.
Caneel and her team of consultants and advisors can help you figure out what “just enough process” looks like for your team and design a few high-leverage processes, tools, and systems. These can include some off-the-shelf solutions, more scrappy processes for lean and homegrown companies, or robust and sophisticated solutions for bigger and more process-oriented players.