Some time ago I came across an interesting article on the 3 major problems startups are facing today, and I'd argue that not only startups face these problems but also, that technology is as much of a key in this puzzle as anything else.
It all boils down to:
- Scaling too quickly
- Inability to deliver on a large scale
- Lack of self-awareness
In my opinion,
the core of the issue is scaling your culture
Every company starts with a small group of people, that have an ambition and a goal. From there, a larger group develops, forming a tribe, a culture, and a purpose. What makes them unique is a collection of habits, work styles, and patterns.
If we go back to our top 3 challenges above, naturally when companies try to grow, they think about: market share, skills, resources, leads, opportunities and so on. Typically, scaling the culture is the last thing on the list, or not on the list at all.
Wouldn't you expect that the original purpose and culture which started the business should deserve an equal share of attention? At the end of the day, you can do as much marketing as you like, but if people in your organization feel like they've been left behind somewhere - delivery of the original customer promise will suffer.
Scaling culture is more complex than migrating servers and services to the cloud. It requires a deeper understanding of how your company works and what tools people use to do that work. From there you can determine what tools you will need to upgrade in order to maintain the same level of focus and quality on a larger scale.
Say, you use Slack on a daily basis to keep up with a small team - which is pretty progressive already. You meet with your team on a regular basis to keep everyone updated ... you have lunches, things are good! As your team grows you may need to re-asses how you're going to scale the same level of productivity and engagement. You may need tools to hold meetings online, create a company employee site, formalize processes such as vacation requests and provide a loop back mechanism for people to give feedback on what works and what doesn't.
With these starting points, you're positioned much stronger in terms of successful culture scale. You will create a team that's confident in their purpose and feels like they have the right tools to course correct and provide feedback.
Enjoy and we'd love to hear your feedback!