What’s an excellent way to get your startup to grow steadily that won’t overwhelm your resources or your employees? From interviewing startup founders, one word has been mentioned to me over and over: flexibility!
Instead of stopping them dead in their tracks, some startups are able to adapt to new marketing conditions and entirely new business contexts. Meanwhile, the less open and bullheaded startups begin to be left in the dust.
So how do you achieve flexibility? What makes a startup “flexible” according to the various founders I’ve spoken to?
Essentially, it comes down to founders’ and managers’ interest in employee growth and development. That is, a sincere interest in their evolution. If employees are learning, challenged, and are not only exposed to but adopt new ideas, then the startup begins to grow.
As the capacity of your employees grows, then your startup will as well because they’ll have a deeper knowledge from which to approach problem solving. In other words, they’ll begin to think more creatively about what’s in front of them.
So how can you begin to incorporate this into your startup? Let’s take a look at 4 key ideas:
1. Community Based Thinking
Concentrate on the idea that your startup is in fact a community of individuals who have great potential to learn, instead of thinking of them just as engine parts. Take responsibility for their growth and nurture their talents.
Reorganization isn’t as necessary as most startup founders believe. Growth and evolution in a startup in company is possible when founders and managers let the responsibilities and positions evolve as the business landscape changes.
As you already know, the market can change rapidly, so think of your startup in more organic terms as a living and breathing entity that can adapt to its environment.
3. Fund Learning
One idea I’ve come across recently is startups that are encouraging their employees to take courses and training in areas outside their area of responsibility. This is the most immediate way to have your employees challenged and learning outside of your startup that in the end, will benefit your startup because they will bring that new knowledge back to your company.
4. Remember Your Own Growth
For many founders, this means ceding certain levels of control that they used to have and enjoy regularly. As your startup grows and you become involved in executing a long-term vision, you’re not going to be able to be manage as closely and as regularly the team you help build.
That’s ok, because relinquishing control shows faith and trust in your team’s ability to adapt and evolve as things change. This is the key to the growth and evolution not just of your startup, but more specifically, of your employees.
Commit to employee growth and development, and you’re well on your way to realizing your startup dreams!