The importance of Culture

Patrick Manders, VP - Arvato Bertelsmann

Patrick Manders of Arvato Bertelsman shares how his 180 year old company has made its expansion plans based on the needs of their clients. As a media company they have followed companies like Apple into new retail markets and worked with them on brand and customer experience.

Culture was discussed extensively between the panelists. John O’Farrell stated how he generally invests in Silicon Valley as the culture of startups makes companies more likely to succeed here. Transmitting this culture to new locations is very important to the success of the expansion of the company. Conversely, Craig Hinkley said that there can be difficulty scaling within Silicon Valley since the startup culture is all about the new and it is easy for people and companies to be distracted. Problems with pay scales, talent acquisition and retention can make expansion in the Valley difficult.

Mike Dennison stressed the importance of understanding the local culture of the expansion location. He suggested that companies need to have localization approach to problem solving and utilize global tools for localized solutions and Patrick Manders stressed the importance of keeping expansion teams lean and nimble so they respond quickly to consumer changes but also keeping them connected to the corporate team. Teams need to know each other and trust each other to respond appropriately to their local markets.