Managing the white space

Managing the white space

Last week’s Entrepreneurship 101 lecture focused on how to build and manage a high-performance team, continuing the management theme of this (almost final) stretch of the series.

In her lecture, MaRS advisor Sandy Buik shed some light on the importance of communication and aligning your employees to best meet your company’s mission, especially early on in the life of your business.

These are two fundamental aspects of managing your team, and executing these tasks effectively is often what separates successful companies from those that fail.

Communicate early

In running a startup you have the advantage of being able to put management processes and policies into place before your company grows to a point where integrating these processes retroactively becomes difficult.

Sandy built her lecture around several of the topics that were brought up by Margo Crawford at the previous Entrepreneurship 101 lecture on the workforce of the future. If you missed Margo’s lecture, you can watch it here.

Sandy spoke about:

  • how to think about your talent;
  • how to align your employees to meet your company’s mission; and
  • how to communicate effectively to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

These tasks are accomplished, in part, by thinking outside the box and by managing the “white space” in your organization chart, rather than only its components. By doing so, you will avoid planning in silos and will build multi-functional teams.

Developing processes

Processes and policies are also important when it comes to creating multi-functional high-performance teams, because they outline the roles of each employee, the roles of others in the company and how to shift these roles when one employee cannot perform his or her duties.

Another bonus of developing processes is that it gives you the ability to assign tasks to your employees while still being aware of the advancement of these tasks. This will keep you worry free and will also free up time for you to focus on developing your business.

Your startup will grow quickly, so it is important to lay the foundation for a successful business right away by following the management principles outlined by Sandy in her talk.

Check out the Hot Tips video on how to separate leadership from management.

Next lecture: Bootstrapping on Wednesday, April 10, 2013


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