FOUNDERS AS TEACHERS

Many startups fail because the team does not function. Building the business is reactive rather than proactive. The team might also be young and inexperienced or older with an “I already know how this should be done” attitude. As a founder, you get frustrated when you see all the things ahead. However, there is nobody to pick up the balls that you throw in the air. Who is to blame but yourself?

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How to skate where your puck (business) is going, follow our 7-step guide!

It can feel safe to look at hard facts and historical numbers when steering your business into the future with buy-in for your team and stakeholders. However, staring at figures and data can sometimes just be counterproductive. The covid pandemic has more than ever proven that historic numbers are not sufficient as a means for steering a business, as we all became aware of the constant transformation occurring everywhere, not only within the startup ecosystem but for any business large or small. 

Furthermore, start-up or scale-up entrepreneurs tend to rely on the initial success and forget to spend time on continuous work to understand customer behavior on a deeper level such as purchase patterns, buyers versus users, availability of time, behavior obstacles, etc.

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Why trust is the foundation for productivity!

The whole startup community is swamped with advice on how to grow and to build a structure with processes, goals, and KPIs. Lots of energy is invested to define values and ways of working. The end goal is to become productive and expand the business.

Why do we often go wrong here? We start with efficiency rather than relationship building. At most meetings, we dig into daily matters at once. We are immersed in business issues, organizing ourselves for more structure, and pressing for more growth.

It is very hard to reach top productivity when rigorous structure gets in the way. And what about a culture that nobody lives by and nobody who dares to pinpoint the issue? Continue reading “Why trust is the foundation for productivity!”

HOW LONG SHOULD ONE BOOTSTRAP? – THESE 6 STEPS FOR BUILDING A SCALE-UP ROADMAP WILL HELP

Bootstrapping your startup means growing your business with little or no venture capital…or outside investment. It means relying on your own savings and revenue to operate and expand. It’s not easy to do, but it’s incredibly rewarding.  Bootstrapping is a choice you can make and I think it requires a special “entrepreneurial” character. You have your own mind, you have many solutions at hand for various challenges, you are a “jack of all trades” and you know how to stay frugal in your spending. You are probably also confident in your ability to “hustle”, that is sell your ideas or early product to stay afloat.  So the question is, why and when do you need external funding? Continue reading “HOW LONG SHOULD ONE BOOTSTRAP? – THESE 6 STEPS FOR BUILDING A SCALE-UP ROADMAP WILL HELP”

FACILITATION – SHOULD FOUNDERS & CEOs POSSESS THIS SKILL?

Facilitating great meetings and workshops is an ever-important skill when managing constant change with teams for best outcome. Most teams tend to focus their energy on reaching goals quickly, not leaving enough room for shared insights and learnings. Consequently, teams often undermine the long-term success of the business. Good facilitation helps solve these difficulties by balancing discussions, focus, and priorities. 

In addition, as sprints are becoming a mainstream agile method for product development, should not management be structured the same way?

Running sprints means team meetings every other week and intense work in between with fast progress checks. Team meetings become CRUCIAL:
💡One great meeting or workshop can lift spirits and push for progress in amazing ways!
💡One really bad meeting can destroy the whole sprint!

Team time in meetings and workshops is the most expensive time spent in a business. Use this time well. Be humble and train, train, train… Remember, Rome was not built in one day… 

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NEVER FORGET TO VALIDATE THE MARKET – 5 STEPS FOR CUSTOMER & MARKET VALIDATION

When a business is initiated there is a lot of focus on customers, their needs, and problems. The whole company is built around solving the actual problem and everybody is highly engaged to serve the first clients. However, as the company grows it becomes hard to get employees to stay focused and to stay true to the mission – What is the actual “beef” that attracts new customers and keeps core customers coming back and buying over and over again? Continue reading “NEVER FORGET TO VALIDATE THE MARKET – 5 STEPS FOR CUSTOMER & MARKET VALIDATION”

Do founders feel alone at times? 5-Step guide to finding a speaking partner!

In a conversation with our founder Maria, we discuss the stigma around some of the suppressed parts of the founder role. This is due to the current glorified view of entrepreneurship. The media portrays founders and their lifestyle as glamorous where the entrepreneur is his/her own boss, making the rules, and everything is hunky-dory. Unfortunately, this view is not realistic. Continue reading “Do founders feel alone at times? 5-Step guide to finding a speaking partner!”

Reducing the stress level in a team – use this icebreaker exercise!

One of the key challenges during my career was how to manage a team successfully, without stress, having active discussions, encourage learning and productivity and making work fun. As a young leader I started out by thinking I had all the responsibility for how the team was functioning. Later I understood it is a team effort to get things moving. Here comes one of my first thoughts about productivity by reducing stress in a team. Continue reading “Reducing the stress level in a team – use this icebreaker exercise!”

Going from an operator to a leader – this 6 step team exercise is a good start!

I have a vivid and quite painful memory from my early career when I suddenly realized there was not enough time to be the instant remedy to all matters in my team. I had just returned from parental leave and had the opportunity to lead the Microsoft Internet Explorer market expansion in the Nordics. Up until this point I knew tech, sales, marketing, customer needs etc. sufficiently to dive into all aspects of my assignment. But at that time my daughter Matilda had to be picked up at kindergarten every day and there was suddenly a limit to all the hours I could put in. I had to start trusting others on a new level – and thus learning to lead instead of being the operator myself. Continue reading “Going from an operator to a leader – this 6 step team exercise is a good start!”