You can immediately feel the atomsphere of a startup in an office: people energetically move along corridors while discussing something lively, the doors of offices are open, and you can hear people laugh. The age of the company does not matter – it may be 100 years old, it may have thousands of employees. The corporate culture simply maintains mentality of its founder, his values and behavioral patterns. Companies that have lost this spirit are completely different. The office is too quiet as employees are stuck in meetings. No energy, no initiative. A founder of a business normally has a powerful charisma. His principles and views are reflected in all business processes. This is one of the reasons why the owner may be so much scared to quit operational management: it seems that all this architecture that has been built for years will immediately collapse.
The corporate culture of founders (which Bain also calls the “Founder’s Mentality”) typically has a mission – not a mission of the type announced with slogans on walls, but the one thall all employees are aware of and share, - and there is a feeling that all tasks are urgent. The whole team has a revolutionary attitude, everyone acts as if he or she is the company’s owner. This is what many corporations, which used to have such culture at the dawn of their business, are now lacking.