Growing your startup

Ownership

Yesterday I had a good discussion about how to manage teams and people inside fast-growing organizations. One effective way I favor is making sure every team and person has clear ownership in their own domain.

Assuming people are onboard and aware of the mission and vision of the company, ownership gives everyone – person, team and manager – clear starting ground to discuss goals and budget. It also gives people the freedom to make the best decisions to further those goals. Of course, people will make mistakes too. Tweaking the size of the domain of ownership to the person combined with good management will minimize that risk, but tolerance to mistakes is important. You can learn valuable lessons from mistakes too.

Ownership also helps teams and people work together and foster an environment of clear communication and decision making processes which always a challenge in a fast-growing company.

The biggest challenge though is how to adapt while growing. The best way is to constantly re-evaluate. If you need a reorganization, you’re really too late. This was how that discussion started last night. Though the most painful sometimes is dividing ownership over time. People dislike giving away responsibilities. They see it as a personal failure. This is another reason to move quickly. It is inevitable though any growing organization.

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