There is something about the unmitigating positivity in a lot of start-ups that is actually pretty dangerous when it comes to building a business. You know what we mean…. “Whoop-Whoop, everyone stand on the tables and play air guitar for five minutes to 'We are the Champions' because Ulrich has managed to sign a customer up (first year free), and don’t you dare ask questions about when the business is going to make a profit.” It all starts to grate pretty quickly - particularly in the inevitable times when the start-up isn’t actually doing as well as the founders believe it should.
Then there are the macho cultures. The pumped up, testosterone fuelled, aggressive, arrogant organisations that believe the world owes them something, where clients can often be treated as if they should feel privileged to be working with them, and not the other way round.
We wanted to ground the business in something else. Realism. At Paternoster we wanted to give helpful, realistic advice to our clients based on years of experience and a true understanding of the pressures that our clients are under. And from the outset we wanted to be able to give each other an honest view about how we’re doing, where we’re going wrong, and where we need to ask for help. By setting a culture that encourages sharing – of the struggles as well as the successes - and stamps out internal competition from the start, we believe we can work together to look after our clients better than anyone.