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Adaptation and resilience to adapt to changes are some characteristics many people and organizations have had to work on internally, in the face of the chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic. Others, like start-ups, hadn’t so much trouble.
More traditional companies had to migrate from the offline world to the online world in a matter of weeks and, it is true, that a good part was not prepared to face the challenges of communicating remotely with their team members, adapting their rooms to offices, children and dogs passing in the background of their video calls, among other situations that made the personal lives of employees become increasingly closer to the professional one.
Many began to discuss mental health and the impacts of these changes, in the short and long term, would bring to people. Organizations, as well, had to face this for the first time.
In the culture of start-ups, which will be mentioned below, this concern was already happening. And many of the adopted practices during the pandemic, such as remote work, informal environment, and care for mental health, were already practiced or at least discussed. Therefore, start-ups were less caught off guard. On the other hand, traditional companies had to race against time to avoid so much damage to the company’s organizational culture.
What is a “start-up”?
Adora Cheung, the co-founder of Homejoy, has defined this type of company as “a state of mind” and “…when people join your company and are still making the explicit decision to forgo stability in exchange for the promise of tremendous growth and the excitement of making an immediate impact.”
In fact, in this new organization model in which nothing is 100% sure and that making mistakes is one way to get to the product (which, by the way, undergoes constant changes), stability is the least preached.
The start-up concept was born in the 90s, in the so-called “internet bubble” and has gained adherents all over the world for having different work methodologies than those previously seen and for going “against” what business traditionalism had been building for decades.
Developed in the ’90s, specifically at Toyota, the Lean methodology is a robust system widely used in start-ups, quite efficient, and survives from constant updates. There are many gains from its implementation since its focus is aimed at impacting beyond physical aspects (final product), as well as the processes carried out to reach it more effectively and efficiently, reducing expenses and optimizing time and energy.
One of the main objectives of Lean Thinking is to direct the organization of processes to manage the various resources available better, improving processes, and delivering value to customers.
Some premises of the Lean management model are:
- Customer value: create empathy with the customer, and we deliver what he expects from us.
- Necessary value chain: eliminate unnecessary processes.
- Continuous and architected flow: Mapping the product cycle and customer journey.
- Continuous improvement: employees define best practices with the best performances.
- Horizontalize your structure more
Within start-ups, one of the most striking characteristics is the sharing of knowledge that can come from anyone who is part of it, regardless of positions. That happens because it is believed that the team can evolve more quickly when interacting and discussing more transparently with others, horizontally and with the least possible hierarchy.
In addition, another point that also benefits from this way of organizing is internal red tape, since everything happens very quickly within the company and time, especially nowadays, costs money. In this way, decision-making gains more speed.
Finally, start-ups encourage and promote an environment in which trust in team members prevails. Even physical spaces are designed to bring a more significant interaction between them, eliminating isolation and status.
Be open to innovation
More than colorful and cute environments, which logically contribute to people’s creative process, being an innovative company – similar to a start-up – refers to being constantly attentive to the market and consumer changes.
Therefore, data is one of the greatest allies. It is no wonder that the demand for Data Scientists has increased exponentially. Having relevant information means having the power to make decisions that can completely change the company’s objectives.
And seeking to be the company in the segment that, based on innovation, most meets the specific needs of the type of consumer you want to reach, is one of the ways to stand out and stand out – leaving the red ocean of constant competition and going to the blue ocean.
Start-up motto: giving a chance to make mistakes
A phrase that truly sums up the topic and culture that is preached at start-ups is that:
“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing” Seth Godin
Many people end up postponing or even failing to do something for fear of making mistakes or because they don’t feel quite ready enough, but they forget that, on the other hand, they become inert.
In the face of a competitive environment, the company that risks little cannot be considered innovative and loses its timing in front of other market players. And adapting is essential for those who do not wish to die on the beach.
For this reason, start-ups are great incentives for “make mistakes, make mistakes frequently” so that there is at least the attempt and that people start working on themselves to improve their skills and see beyond the obvious.
Transparency between areas
Companies that have a more transparent culture end up becoming more inclusive. In what way? In its employees, regardless of their functions, keeping doing work as always or remodeling it in view of the results obtained.
Some organizations already have panels (TVs) with customer numbers, revenue generation, churn, and the like. Others prefer to make this open to the general public, including current and potential investors, as is the case with companies registered with Baremetrics.
Besides, many other practices can serve as a basis for a change in the company’s organizational culture — especially those that already have a “way of being” totally designed since its foundation. The fact is that the world has changed and so have people.
If companies like AB Inbev had not reinvented themselves, it would not have become the world’s largest brewery. Likewise, for decades when competition among the biggest in the world had just begun, Toyota had a completely innovative and unbureaucratic management model and was concerned with who, in fact, was responsible for making it a successful company, its employees.
Therefore, it is necessary not only to copy ready and successful models like the ones mentioned above but also to mobilize the entire organization to build something that will surely change an aspect that is predominant culture. Thus, people need to feel included in this process to make the transition, even if gradual, certainly in the long run.
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