Your Start-up – know yourself and succeed!

When we started our Company we knew it had to be based on values and principles. We are not Richard Branson and don’t want to be, although we admire him tremendously. We started our organisation because we believed in better: better quality, better services, better lives. The advice below is very pertinent for companies of all sizes, and especially for those grounded in health and social empowerment. This is the approach we took. We made deliberate decisions about the kind of work we would take, the kind of factors that would lead our decision making, and the limits we would self impose so that we could better manage our work and our priorities.

Adapted from “Four Things to Get Right When Starting a Company” by Bruce Gibney and Ken Howery: “As a start-up gets off the ground, it has a short-lived opportunity to decide how it wants to do business. With each new hire company culture becomes more entrenched and somewhere after two dozen employees, it tends to cement. Establish a set of genuine values before your start-up gets too complex. Articulate a coherent philosophy about who you are and how you will work. Also be clear about who you aren’t and what you won’t do. This will make decisions easier and ultimately improve results. Rather than analyzing each new decision afresh, you’ll have a common foundation from which to make them. If you don’t do this deliberately when your organization is young, the culture will (often rigidly) form itself.”

We knew we wanted to be small, in control, and able to choose who to support, and who to challenge. The rest takes care of itself, once you understand your own drivers and the context of your start-up.

Good Luck with your venture. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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