A recent article from Harvard Business review stands out to me as applicable to Dailybreak’s day to day evolution and growth: The Radical Beauty of Three Simple Management Practices
They are, in summary:
1) Establish Targets
2) Establish Incentives
3) Monitor so you can improve!
At Dailybreak, we’re slowly growing into our own, from early stage, scrappy startup to a later-stage company in need of process, management, and an understanding of how to improve its employees.
While we’re still a startup and can’t lose that willingness to do whatever it takes, it’s a REALLY interesting time for all of us - sort of a tweener stage. You notice that the founding team starts giving way to those with tons of experience, while still maintaining their overall vision for the company. You see a lot management ideas and philosophies thrown out there.
Above all, keeping it simple to start has proven useful for us.
Also making my list, mostly tactical:
- Set up regular 1 on 1 meetings between managers and reports
- Introduce a feedback system - 3 questions (what is X doing well; what can they improve; what do they do to make you smile/improve your work daily?)
- Discuss the moving pieces BETWEEN teams and where they overlap, so you can coordinate workflow between teams effectively when projects change hands (you suddenly find yourself in need of this process when the teams begin to grow individually - it’s no longer “just turn and ask the guy next to you” here at Dailybreak…too big!)
The scary part about a startup in growth mode is that the lovable underdog mentality and culture are still valuable, but so too are the stuffier, more established practices found at larger corporations. The idea of “going corporate” is reason for plenty of entrepreneurs to jump ship, and yet plenty of startups would save already-scarce resources if they just adopted a few lightweight practices and processes.
As Dailybreak grows, our plan is to create an environment that fosters career growth and efficient work (process-driven stuff) while still maintaining and hiring the right type of person for the culture of the company (which is, as co-founder Ryan Durkin puts it in this article on BostInno, “a blue collar work ethic in a white collar.”) As my time at Google helped me learn, the people are really the driving force behind maintaing the culture of any company.