The early stages of a company can be an exciting time for founders, but also for leaders in an established business which is launching a new initiative. People are fired up with entrepreneurial enthusiasm, promoting their propositions, working long hours and wearing many hats. It is a rush in all senses of the word and many people look back on those days with fond affection. Lots is achieved in a short space of time. There is a sense of traction, of trajectory and of momentum. A time before all those meetings, the processes and red tape...
But what most leaders find is that at some point the wheels start to wobble and even fall off. Either way momentum gets slowed. You find you can't scale yourself. You need more great staff who can help you deliver on those crazy promises you have been making to clients and prospects. You need a bigger office to gather people in. And you need to co-ordinate what they are doing, give them the input you feel they need and make sure they do things the way you want them done. Perhaps you do need meetings, processes and red tape after all?
To some degree, you do. But that shouldn't drive what you do. What should drive what you and your staff do are your vision and values. Why you set up the company or initiative in the first place. You should clearly articulate your cause, your belief; why you exist and why people should care. Then you should communicate that in crystal clear terms. It will attract and keep the right sort of staff and the right sort of clients.
It will help you decide how you deliver against the vision and what products and services you should offer. Progress towards the vision can be mapped out with short, medium and long term objectives. Some will change, inevitably, but it will allow delegation to be easier, enable more rapid execution and clear measurements to be put in place.
And at an organisational level it should also drive the culture of the organisation you run. Should influence the sort of meetings you have and the nature of the processes you put in place. And as regards the red tape, as we used to say at the digital agency I used to run, Blue Barracuda, should help you decide what is just enough red tape to tie it all together.