At Altvia, one thing that has been top of mind for us is identifying, building, and maintaining an exceptional corporate culture. For insights in this area, we often talk with successful PE firms to learn more about how their efforts to build winning cultures have had positive impacts in their firms and in the portfolio companies in which they invest, and ultimately have led to greater returns for their investors.
First, let’s lay some foundation about what culture is.
- Culture is the cumulative collection of an organization’s experience, attitudes, and values.
- Culture is how an organization communicates.
- Culture is the body of knowledge shared by people within an organization.
- Culture is a way of life and an approach to doing business.
It seems that many companies today are committed to building a successful culture that fosters both professional and personal growth, and that takes performance to the next level.
How Portfolio Monitoring Software Supports Positive Culture at PE Firms
So, what does a winning culture look like for a PE firm? That can vary widely. However, having portfolio monitoring software in place to aid in the sharing and management of information is essential in all cases.
One approach in crafting a positive culture is to focus on the go-to-market (GTM) strategy for both the firm and the companies in which it invests. The idea is to spread the knowledge for several target channels across investment teams as opposed to having a siloed approach, and to develop a common set of terms and considerations used to evaluate investment opportunities.
Since all members are equipped with a common framework, there’s a strong sense of empowerment as a team. It’s a “divide and conquer” approach combined with a consistent methodology for measuring opportunities in both a qualitative and quantitative way.
While adopting and promoting a new culture can be challenging, a team foundation coupled with broader subject matter expertise is a proven formula for delivering successful performance as is often reflected in a firm’s Net Promoter Score and channel growth.
Another effective culture takes a “team-first” approach, structuring roles and compensation so that all members of a firm are closely aligned with the interests of its limited partners (LPs). This may be most achievable in firms that don’t have a single founder and therefore no single personality around which a culture develops.
Instead, there is an open framework on which to build the company’s culture. This translates into key performance metrics and processes being aligned with client goals and interests. Everyone is working toward the same objectives.
And if a team member leaves the firm, their ownership stake is left with the firm. With this structure in place, the firm’s success is tied to the success of LPs.
Seeking Synergy: Advanced Portfolio Monitoring Software + Great People
No discussion about winning cultures is complete without shining a spotlight on the people part of the equation. Hiring the right individuals for the right jobs and developing effective collaboration among teams fosters crucial trust and alignment. Here again, having an advanced portfolio monitoring solution in place to support these efforts is crucial.
One PE firm we work with created a steering committee made up of their CFO, controller, HR, marketing, and senior managing directors who meet every month to improve processes including fundraising, tracking, and deal workflow. We take a similar cross-functional approach at Altvia, conducting “Level 10 Meetings” each week as part of an Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) approach. This helps us identify and solve problems, provides a strong feedback loop, and enables our teams to stay focused.
Consistent Framework for Decision-Making
The fact that Altvia has a consistent framework and a regular dialog has been instrumental in helping us develop and maintain a great company culture. We’re able to collect input from team members efficiently and use those insights to inform our decision-making process. The result is that everyone in our company has an active role in our success.
And to help ensure that the right people are in the right jobs, Altvia provides job candidates a RoundPegg survey for cultural assessment as part of a thorough interview process. If hired, the new employee takes a StrengthsFinder survey that enables us and the person to see why they stand out from others. This awareness empowers them to leverage their talents most effectively. An employee’s top five strengths are then folded into a team-wide assessment to maximize the effectiveness of our communication and collaboration.
Ultimately, having great people and teams supported by purpose-built solutions like portfolio monitoring software leads to a positive culture that benefits our company and every firm we interact with.