A former colleague recently asked me how she could foster a startup culture on her team. As I thought about this, I realized that it all comes down to encouraging the same qualities that define strong startups. Here is what I shared…
*Focus on Innovation: A core belief exists that disruption breeds industry growth
*Ability to Pivot: Startups have the talent and drive to consistently look for improvements and then test their product in a nimble fashion. By nimble I mean that going from improvement to test to learn to execution can happen in the matter of weeks
*Natural Born Strategists: Startups don’t have the luxury to say yes to everything, so they are forced to evaluate every decision carefully. They say no to many ideas, so that they can focus on what matters most – that is how their product drives customer success
*Collaborators: Many companies operate in siloes, but a startup will never succeed unless they are one team and masters of all arenas. Team members work together daily and as a result, will work collaboratively with their customers as well
*Having a Strong Advisory Board: Most startups engage with mentors and advisors with domain expertise to help shape and direct the company to their North Star. This results in products based on deep insight and strategies validated by experts
*Smart Staff with Deep Domain Expertise: Startups, especially those who have raised capital have been thoroughly vetted. As a customer you can trust that the founding team knows your industry, has done their due diligence on their offering, and has produced a world class product
The moral is that startups are beautiful. Founders are natural disruptors, and it comes from a place of genuine interest in the industry they serve.
***It is driven by a deep desire to solve their customers’ problems in a unique way that provides overarching industry growth.***
Bravo to my friend who is looking to improve her team. In addition to inspiring teams to start behaving like a startup, I'd like to encourage those weighing the choice between working with an established brand or a startup to embrace the startup as you will not only wind up with a groundbreaking solution, but also can take away refreshing & valuable business management strategies.
Erica Bishaf, Founder & CEO
Meet the Author
Erica Bishaf is an award-winning global brand strategist (24 years), market research professional, and a 2X tech startup founder. Her startup experience includes CampfireSocial, the private community & marketplace platform, and Pet Gotcha Day!, the immersive video platform for animal shelters. In addition to her passion for startups, she has worked for consumer-packaged goods companies such as Kraft, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, the Illinois Lottery, and MillerCoors in a variety of roles encompassing global product innovation, package redesign, brand equity, shopper & retail insights, and strategic planning. In 2015, Erica started her own consultancy where she led projects for startups, growth stage companies, Fortune 500, trade & professional associations, top 10 trade shows, and private equity firms that focused on building brand & communication strategies, strategic planning & workshop design, innovation, segmentation identification, UX/UI design, consumer journeys, A&U work, uncovering shopping & retail touchpoints, and more. Erica has also built teams from the ground up for three organizations. She enjoys bringing an entrepreneurial lens to her work to identify new opportunities for growth and using quantitative and qualitative methodologies plus financial data to accomplish her clients' goals. Her clients have said that 'Erica is a keen observer of human behavior who can translate observations into action and one who spurs others to better thinking and better results.' Erica can be reached at email@example.com.