Every founder should apply the strategic box. A long time ago, me and Brian O’Kane invented this strategic box when we wrote “Growing your own business, a workbook”. It is a quick frame and filter to determine your strategy, using six statements: vision, mission, passion, values, positioning, and resourcing. Not only does it works to align management teams, but it works with recruitment, storytelling and ultimately, it is all about culture and dreaming. If you don’t have a dream, then it can’t come true.
Codify from the start
We use the strategic box with startups as well to make sure the founders are clear about their aspirations and expectations, but also as a way to set the foundations for the culture of the business in the future. Codifying culture, if you will. Creating principles.
The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth
I came across “The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth”. The book concludes that growth or decline is almost an internal story. It’s the story of building the business, expanding and retaining a quality workforce, strengthening the culture, upgrading the systems, learning from experience, adapting the business model, holding down costs, and mobilising the people to carry it all out perfectly, again and again.
It is on the inside
Well over half of all businesses today face at least one form of significant outside disruption to a part of their business model. The authors find that more than four in five problems on the outside of a business trace to problems on the inside. Problems that inhibited its ability to adapt, to decide and act quickly, to embrace new ideas, to keep costs down, or to scale its ability to serve customers.
Small company advantage
Small companies possess one great competitive advantage over incumbents. At every level of the business, the employees of small companies make their decisions and pursue their objectives motivated by an owner’s mindset. They’re so invested in the company, that is, that they feel and act like owners. Employees who feel engaged and empowered, who possess an owner’s mindset, in other words — will volunteer solutions to problems and come up with innovative…