From Ed Batista: I conducted a workshop with the team at a startup here in the Bay Area on a range of topics related to interpersonal and group dynamics. While the title was simply Startup Communication, a theme woven throughout the day was the idea of startups as human systems, emphasizing both the complexity of the organizational culture and the critical importance of communication, feedback, and relationships in this setting. A condensed version of my deck is above, and I’ve added a number of links to other posts that explore in greater depth the ideas we discussed in the workshop. (Note that you have to download the deck from Slideshare in order to access those links.)
From Social Insites Blog: When does a start-up stop being a start-up? It’s a question that provides great link-bait on the interwebs, and I’m not going to answer it. There are a few hallmarks of start-up culture that we continue to cultivate here at NewsGator that make this a place to love.
From FastCompany: Why should you cooperate with your customers? Survival is a pretty good motivator.
From FastCompany: Rather than work for just the biggest companies in the world, they’ll be working with some of the smallest. It’s part of their new Start-Up in Residence program, a five-month boot camp for just one lucky start-up team who will work right aside IDEO out of their Chicago office.
From Fast Company: The formula for a successful startup is simple: create a product that people need, and hire ridiculously talented, highly motivated people to build it. Finding ridiculously talented, highly motivated people is by far the more challenging side of this equation. Here’s how to do it.
From strategy+business: This social entrepreneur pioneered a new model for mentoring startups in emerging markets. Now she’s replicating it around the world.
From FastCompany: Venture-capital firms have been the engine of the United States’ innovation economy. At Google Ventures, the search giant’s investing arm, Google thinks it can build a better one.
From Jeffrey Cufaude: In order for us to do anything with each other, we first have to understand how we want to be with each other. Having stated and understood rules of engagement, shared agreements for participation, helps create a safer climate for individual participation. Defining norms for a conversation, community, or organization helps people understand “this is who we are and how we will do things here.” As Margaret Wheatley has said, “To create learning organizations, we must understand the underlying agreements we have made about how we will be together.”
From FastCompany: Disruptive. Small-d democratic. Transparent. Tech savvy. Design savvy. Local and global. Nimble. Values-driven. No matter your gut reaction to what has sprung out of a seemingly sketchy September landing on New York’s Zuccotti Park, the Occupy movement is spiritually akin to the innovative companies we laud elsewhere on this list and in each issue. Square, for example, is working to disrupt an established trillion-dollar payment infrastructure that puts the little guy at a disadvantage. Occupy, meanwhile, is challenging a political, financial, and social establishment that has resulted in income inequality and puts most Americans at a disadvantage. Both attempt to make a more fair future.
From Erica Swallow at Mashable: It can be challenging for unknown startups to garner press attention — budgets are tight, relationships with journalists may not be that strong and explaining a new concept is difficult. Not to mention, early-stage startups usually only employ a few people focused on product and development. Therefore, marketing and public relations are often tackled piecemeal by whomever has time.
Good press, though, can be one of the biggest drivers for startups looking to grow their user bases, and as a result, a pretty important component for success.
From Thomas Friedman in NY Times: The rise in the unemployment rate last month to 9.2 percent has Democrats and Republicans reliably falling back on their respective cure-alls. It is evidence for liberals that we need more stimulus and for conservatives that we need more tax cuts to increase demand. I am sure there is truth in both, but I do not believe they are the whole story. I think something else, something new — something that will require our kids not so much to find their next job as to invent their next job — is also influencing today’s job market more than people realize.
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Suggestions for before-the-meeting reflection, becoming present at the meeting, surfacing group members' expectations, determining next steps.
Edgar Schein writes, "When two or more people come together to form a work or task-oriented group, there will first be a period of essentially self-oriented behavior reflecting various concerns that any new member of a group could be expected to experience." Here are questions to help the team in its forming stage. The questions are designed for each individual to answer and then share with the team.