Alexander Grosse, Director of Engineering for BCG Digital Ventures, and David Loftesness, the Head of Platform at eero, have both lived through the brilliant and bleak moments of scaling teams. In this interview, they look at five areas where startups can either take action to deactivate destructive factionalism or even prevent them from forming in the first place. They share concrete processes for regaining the efficiency that leaders might not even realize they’re losing to competing mindsets and poor communication. Through these tactics, they show through specific scenarios why empathy is just as vital to a startup’s success as innovation.
Many of the skills you need as a leader of a scale-up are much different than the skills you needed as the leader of a startup. In his post, Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot lays out some of the skills and tools he needed to develop during the scale-up phase.
Article by Brian Halligan, CEO HubSpot
Start-ups that are lucky enough to get to the “build” phase have a new set of challenges. They’re not just strategy related. It’s about fixing all the organizational debt that has collected. Growing companies need to understand how to recognize and “refactor” organizational debt. Failing to refactor organizational debt can kill a growing company. Onboarding, training, culture, and compensation for employees at the “build” phase all require a fresh look and new approaches.
Article by Steve Blank on Forbes
The team at Culture Amp recently explored the challenges technology companies face as they grow. The team of data scientists reviewed data from over 700 companies, analyzing scores for employee engagement at different stages of venture capital funded companies. Engagement is tied to the level of self-determination a person feels at their work. As a measure of cultural health, it tends to decrease over time, which is what the team calls the culture crunch. Learn how engagement is impacted throughout various growth stages from their data informed insights in this brilliant piece by Culture Amp.
There is a cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. This limit has suggested to be 150 and is known as “Dunbar’s Number” named after the British anthropologist Robin Dunbar. Dunbar’s research implies that for a group to sustain itself at the size of 150 requires significantly more effort that must be spent on the core socialization to keep the group functioning. The message for start-ups is that many things that are easy and happen naturally when they are small change and require conscious effort once you start really growing. It’s the time when the leadership together with the whole team need to step up the culture and communication game.