Tech startups figured it out.
Any chief executive officer of a software company can show you how a company can get better results. They know how to get more with limited resources and how to manage your people. The reason why they are better is, they focus on the two things every manager wants.
Thinking about growth.
Most breakthroughs in history have made the world smaller. They were made as people wanted to save time and be more productive. It's in our nature.
Human mindset wants things done fast and has given us the telephone, the Internet and the app stores. People who run tech companies know that because “improving productivity” is also their product.
Understanding productivity, makes it possible to run teams that achieve more themselves.
The facts are clear. Already in 2014 software companies achieved more than any other industry in North America. According to Deloitte Technology Fast 500, in 2014, 64 percent of the fastest growing tech businesses were software or Internet companies. And every sign tells us that this percentage will only grow in the coming years.
Such growth is not only due to the increase in demand or availability of VC money. It's about the people and the teams they work in.There are specific traits that high performing teams have and most of them can be implemented by managers. Google hires people with passion, intelligence and a "learning animal“ mindset and uses objectives and key results to get the most out of those people.
Best teams also focus on diversity as they understand that each person brings something new to the team. Intel, Facebook and Google are all committed to increasing the percentage of female employees.
Everyone can be part of a software company.
The truth is, you don't need to actually run a software company to match them in performance. Any manager can motivate people and improve their team by using the same business tools that successful tech giants.
It’s not only the giants, who work like that. Having worked with a lot of start ups I can say that the most successful ones have one thing in common: they are data-driven. They spend a lot of time understanding everything about both their clients and their own business and they make their decisions based on experiment results and data.
This data gives them a lot of insight and gives them options on how to keep everyone productive. You need to figure out, which work for you and adapt them.
Remember, you are not so much doing it for the people but for yourself. Leadership and management skills are measured by the success of your team.
There are three areas you focus on to get employees work more efficiently and quicker. You need to spend time improving engagement, motivation and team spirit: Three pillars that most start-ups stand on.
Highly motivated employees tend to care more about their work and do more to succeed. At the same time 30 percentage of executives say, motivating people is their toughest job. According to one survey, the most effective motivators are "praise from managers“, "attention from leaders“ and "more responsibility.“
All these things take a lot of time and energy. Luckily, software companies also have a solution for that -- using similar tools to those they sell.
Staying in competition.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” wrote Sun Tzu. A leader must seize every opportunity to become better and more effective and to hold on to success.
Today this means using different business tools that work for your team and make them better. The idea behind these enterprise tools is to make manager's job easier and waste fewer resources. Make your pick: from chat (Slack) to weekly reporting tools (Weekdone). There are hundreds of tools like that out there. The trick is to find the one that suits your team. Then they are worth it.
Don't reinvent the wheel.
As Yoda said, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Luckily, you don't have to figure out anything that hasn't already been figured out by a lot of successful people.
All you have to do is learn from these examples, talk with your peers and figure out what works for you.