Culture decks, or culture documents, are simply a series of slides that outline your startup or company’s culture, core values, mission and behaviors in a clear, concise manner that is easily understood and absorbed by readers. Usually culture decks are not lengthy, drawn-out essays but are instead filled with colorful images, short phrases and choice words that can get the point across succinctly. A well thought-out culture deck serves to strengthen and clarify a startup’s mission and purpose, as well as encoding its core values and principles into a written format that can be easily conveyed to employees, potential hires and interested investors alike.
As a startup founder, one of the most meaningful tasks you can do for your startup is to clearly define and shape its culture. A startup with a well-defined culture and sense of purpose is able to scale and sustain itself much better than one without. By designating and encoding a set of values, principles and actionable practices for your startup’s culture deck, you are in effect shaping and molding the kind of environment that your workers and employees will be working in as well as the value and services you wish to offer your customers and clients. More than that, your startup culture also impacts the bottom line as well, as startups with a focused and driven vision backed by a strong set of core beliefs as espoused in its culture deck tend to attract more quality talent and are more actively engaged with their customers and clients.
Therefore, with a culture deck everything begins with your startup’s culture. Yet, there are still startups that let their culture be dictated by chance and circumstance rather than through direct purpose and clarity of vision. By choosing to let their company culture evolve subconsciously without a true sense of purpose or vision to guide it, they are effectively turning their culture – which can be any business’ greatest asset – into a severe liability.
To help you get started on your culture deck, simply list down the core values, beliefs, and mission statement for your startup. The earlier you get to it, the better off your startup will be. The most important first step is to actually write it down, but surprisingly quite a number of executives and founders have never done so due to them not allocating the time for it or just not putting enough thought or effort into defining a proper culture for their company or startup. Keep the culture deck simple and concise; do your best to summarise so that it can be conveyed in a clear, comprehensive manner through adroit use of images and short phrases and sentences. Keep in mind that your culture deck also acts as a document brief that details what experiences and environment your startup provides for its employees, which can serve to attract quality talent that is the right fit for your company. For potential hires themselves, they are able to discern how your startup’s values and principles align with their own, and how working there will help them fulfill their own goals and potential.
A well-thought-out culture deck also serves to enlighten customers and clients about what differentiates your startup from the competition. A great culture deck is one that can effectively communicate its mission, beliefs and core values, giving people an insightful glimpse into how your startup is run and which direction it is headed to. This in turn will attract a larger pool of customers that are aligned with your startup’s goals and values, thus generating more profitability and revenue.
A clearly defined, well-written culture deck is a great tangible asset for your startup, and is necessary if you wish to create a culture and environment that provides significant value for its employees and customers as well as to acquire great talent. All it takes is for you to put your startup’s culture into words and slides, and you will already be well on the way to creating an impactful resource in the form of a culture deck for your business.