Here’s the thing: People don’t want to work on a strict, rigid, limiting company who will require documents after documents and sign-off after sign-off just to make a change in a simple existing process. Startups shake their fists against this type of corporate stiffness and 90% of all startups grow to become exactly like that.
The big question is: Why?
Why do we evolve from a beautiful, fluid, fun startup into a slow, old, wrinkled brontosaurus full of corporate red tapes? How could we possibly miss the transition? Where is the thick yellow line that tells us we’re about to cross over?
People and Culture
You look at a 5-year-old startup and then you look at a 30-year-old corporation and you immediately see the difference. And yet another 25 years down the line and the startup and that corporation suddenly seems like they have more in common than differences.
If there is one thing I’m noticing now, it’s that it’s all because of the people you put in leadership. Therein lies the answer. If the leaders in your team are people who build themselves up, who grow themselves to really lead a team and not just manage and boss other people around, if they are people who have the company’s best interests at heart, if they are people who don’t need to work with supervision, I believe you could carry on that fun, energy and freedom long into your corporate years.
The main reason being: You don’t need to put in a lot of processes, a lot of sign-offs, a lot of documentation if you have an effective leadership team who are growing themselves daily.
So don’t put in a lot of effort into creating more processes, more requirements, more training materials on how to make your company more straightforward in its way of work. Rather, put that same effort into creating mechanisms that would encourage your leadership team to grow themselves and trickle that growth down to their team. Create a culture of growth, of true leadership – and that should keep your company young.
30 years down the line, and people would think that you were still a startup.