There’s a dangerous dynamic I’ve seen play out in many start-ups led by founders in their 20s and 30s. The consequences range from mild to catastrophic, from wasting time and burning through valuable resources through to sinking the business.
Here’s an all too familiar metaphor. The proverbial ship pulls up its anchor with the founder at the helm. The founder wants to travel far, fast. The waves swell. Lightning flashes on the horizon, drawing closer. The wind is blustering. The passengers stare wide-eyed, confiding under their breath, “we need more experienced people steering this ship.” The founder’s inner critic is…
As a seasoned executive, you’ve been yearning for something different. Joining an early-stage start-up after years in a stifling corporate environment can be exhilarating. You’re buzzing, because you know your experience will impact and propel the organization to new heights.
The idea of getting involved in a start-up has tremendous allure. It provides an opportunity to get your hands dirty, fulfil your entrepreneurial urges and make a real difference. You’re energized by the idea of playing a part in disrupting an industry. You dream of realizing untapped market opportunities and mushrooming prospect lists. …
We want it all. We like the idea of flat organizations with proactive and self-managing team members who lead together, but we also covet titles that convey awe-inspiring prestige and position. What’s a team to do?
Employee disengagement is climbing, with studies indicating that 85% of team members rate themselves as disengaged at work. To address this, organizations try to affect change and pursue progressiveness. Unfortunately, these experiments rarely have a positive impact on disengagement levels. Why? Because we want to have our cake and eat it too. …
Has it already been a year since the last one?
You make your way to a small meeting room. You find your colleague nervously watching the clock, waiting for your arrival. They nod as you list their shortcomings. You pepper in praise in hopes you don’t come off as a total ass. It’s performance review time and you both know you just need to push through.
Performance reviews stink… and we all know it.
No matter how sensitive a leader you may be, providing feedback is uncomfortable. How many times have you found yourself delaying the process? Or rushing through…
“Our goal was to experiment radically, to find new ways of being and working together.”
Samantha Slade — a force-of-nature with a background in cultural anthropology and education — co-founded Percolab, an international co-creation and co-design firm in 2007. “We were a group of social scientists and business people. The idea was to create a lab, explore future ways of working, and put a theoretical framework around it.” And so they did. Percolab has expanded internationally and kick-started a movement to change the way businesses organize.
How would you rate the effectiveness of your onboarding process?
There is no better way to say “we don’t really care about you” than by prioritizing other work over the success of new team members. On the flip side, an awesome onboarding experience pays dividends to everyone involved. Joiners will stay, team performance is higher and relationships get built more quickly.
Did I make the right decision? Do I like these people? Do they like me? Am I competent in this role? Am I seen as worthy?
We can all relate to this inner dialogue — the insecurities and stresses…
After spending almost 25 years in Senior Leadership positions with giants like IBM, Vodafone and British Petroleum, Susan Basterfield walked away from it all. Again and again, she saw good ideas stifled while the “privileged few told everyone what to do.” Humans could make independent decisions in the outside world. Why then, she wondered, were they forced to lose agency and autonomy when they walked through the office door? She had built her career under a cloud of assumptions about hierarchy that suddenly didn’t make sense. …
Earlier today I had coffee with the Mayor of Oakville, Rob Burton. Twenty minutes from downtown Toronto, Oakville is one Canada’s most affluent cities. As such, it’s also an above average emitter of greenhouse gases per resident.
Prime Ministers and Premiers make macro-level policy decisions. Mayors have a greater connection to citizens but limited tools at their disposal to effect major change.
I took the opportunity to ask Rob what we (residents) can each do to have the greatest impact on climate change. His answer was clear: adjust our thermostats by 2 degrees. This is especially critical during times of…
The personal journey to bona fide leadership — and becoming a powerful force for good — scares and excites everyone called to it.
The thrilling pursuit of solving the world’s most pressing issues is a group effort. For those willing to lead, drawing others to a shared intention has its challenges. Frustration mounts when, despite best efforts, others don’t follow. Self-doubt becomes an unwelcome companion.
Do you aspire to be a leader who confidently taps your full potential? One who builds a strong team and makes a meaningful difference?
If so, the world needs you… and it needs you now.
The promises of new ecosystem ways of working sound so good.
Decentralized decision making.
But how does an organization get there from here?
Here usually feels like: Policies. Bosses. Performance Reviews. Reporting Structures. Human RESOURCES. Middle Management. Incentive Plans.
Not so inspiring!
Along with my co-authors, I wrote Reinventing Scale-Ups as a way of sharing experiments in new ways of working. Since its release we’ve been helping more and more companies make the shift. Along the way, we’ve continued learning and have a few new things that can help you on your journey. …
The Scale Coach for Founder CEOs and co-author of Reinventing Scale-Ups: Radical Ideas for Growing Companies