Q: There is a famous saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Do you agree? Do you spend more time on culture or strategy? How does your culture support your strategy and vice versa?
Keith Moore, CEO, CoverHound and CyberPolicy: Yes, culture takes priority at both CoverHound and CyberPolicy over strategy because one of the most vital aspects of our strategy is to be highly innovative to drive positive change in a large, established industry: insurance.
Being innovative brings together two key aspects of our culture: putting the “we” before the “me,” and the importance of teamwork. Meaningful innovation can only occur through numerous failures, and numerous failures as an individual can be extremely stressful and are not sustainable (especially when the company culture is weak). We have found that innovation comes more frequently from diverse and culturally aligned teams that are smart, hungry and humble. Stronger teams can withstand failures together over longer periods of time, which is a must in achieving innovative breakthroughs, like we have at CoverHound and CyberPolicy.
Your strategy can shift as you learn new markets and develop new products that gain traction, but cultural shifts are far more difficult, so the priority to get your culture right early on and maintain it has been more important for us.
Q: How would you describe your company’s culture today? Has the culture changed since the early startup days?
Moore: CoverHound has always been a customer- and service-oriented culture. When we hire employees, we look for a key set of values, and these values impact everything down to the experience with the customer. After all, happy employees equal happy customers.
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