Enabling a start-up to grow quickly
Case of a fast growing start-up company in the context of Neuwaldegg’s consulting for agile organisations.
The highly successful innovation start-up of a municipal infrastructure service provider is growing rapidly. The number of employees doubles annually. The structure must be adapted to rapid growth and internationalisation. However, the concern is that the great asset of the culture that has grown cannot be preserved if the family start-up becomes a professionalised company. Following an evaluation, the group ordered external consulting for its young wild start-up.
Learning to grow
The remit: to support the change in terms of reorganising the structure, leadership and culture.
With three aims:
- An adaptive organisational structure that can continuously adapt to future growth without requiring new reorganisations.
- To professionalise leadership – many managers have no experience and there is no common vision for leadership.
- To preserve and further develop the cultural elements that distinguish the start-up.
A remit as a moving target
Together with the core team from the organisation, we decide on an agile consulting approach. Since the briefing for the remit is always adapted to the company’s current developments, we rely on two things: flexible but emphatic clarification and adaptation of the remit continuously during the process and the rapid enabling of the system.
We achieve this by withdrawing as consultants from the beginning. The first all-hands workshop is not facilitated by us. We develop the design and hand it over to the core team, which implements it brilliantly – without much experience in facilitating. Together with the management board, we work out the common visions and directions in the three project themes. In an organisational diagnosis using focus interviews, we reflect the resources, blind spots and areas of development in the three areas back to the system. A DIY booklet outlines the objectives for the areas of development and provides recommendations for tailor-made interventions. The core team is given the booklet with the tools resulting from the consultancy and then confidently starts implementing it. We are still available as a sparring partner if required.
Extract from the tailor-made DIY booklet
“They can do it!”– without us
This project taught us patience and curiosity. It’s not so easy when a remit constantly changes. The good cooperation with the core team and the willingness to continuously adapt the goals and the approach were success factors. The same applies to the strengthening of self-competence from the very beginning. The DIY designs with briefings and retrospectives with the implementers are compatible with the mentality and competence of a start-up: We can do it! Our professional sparring helps the system to pay attention not to the impression but to the effect and system dynamics.