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Monday, July 23, 2012

Share your vision with your team

Starting a company requires a concept of the business, the market, the product, and the fit in the landscape.  The planning that goes into a startup company is extensive as is the research required to develop a solid plan.  Entrepreneurs often start with one plan then adjust or switch entirely as the company progresses.  Changes often match alterations in the landscape or adjustments in the future vision of the CEO. 

It is no surprise that the competition will alter their directions to try to capture market or dominate a business area.  The CEO must be able to read the shifts and determine a new path to ensure that the future of the company is a success story.  Think of the process as playing a chess game.  Moves and counter moves are required until the game is over and the winner takes the king.  The ability to “PIVOT” is essential for all startup companies.  They must be able to identify new paths and shift rapidly to survive.

This is especially critical when the startup is in a space with a potential competitor being a large company or a highly aggressive small company.  These companies have assets on their side and may have large sales and marketing teams.  Jockeying for position in a crowded space or against a highly competitive business is difficult.  A small agile company can win, but only if they are continually adjusting to meet the challenge. 

Visions and rationale at the start of a business must change.  Strategy is important and, like in any game, the better the strategy the better the game play.  Increasing the odds of success depends on vision, rationale, and strategy, but have you informed your team? 

Your team will be very attentive and follow your direction.  You shared your vision, strategy, and rationale with them early in the startup life.  As the landscape changes, you naturally began to adjust.  Meetings to follow progress and timelines fit your original objectives.  As you change, your team is working on what they believe you want based on your last instructions.  They are not able to read your mind nor are they informed on your strategy to succeed unless you tell them.  Planning and strategy discussions may be critical to keeping your team involved and on the path of your vision.

Your vision sets the framework for success of your company.  You will change or alter this vision as the company progresses.  You must develop a practice of making sure your whole team is aware of changes. You may even want to have them participate in the process of the CHANGE or the discussions leading to the change.  Getting their input may help you identify new and better ways to meet the challenges. 

Are you keeping your team appraised the landscape and your vision?