For the last 220 days I have gone through the biggest change in my career so far. For the first time after my studies I am working in a rapidly growing SME. For more than once, I have had to answer questions from people who doubted whether it was worth leaving a big corporation with its good benefits and move on to a company with less than a hundred employees. I haven’t had regrets for one moment. At the same time, I hope that also others would grab a similar opportunity if they have the chance to be part of a well-managed growth company. I think there are three reasons for this:
1. At its best, a growth company is a growth platform for people
How do you know that a growth company is well-managed? From the fact, for example, that people are worried if no mistakes are made, because that could be a sign of not experimenting enough. Or from thinking that internationalisation does not happen with endless planning, but instead you just buy a plane ticket and go to see your market competitors and potential customers on site. Or from things like teams being open enough so that you can casually present even bad ideas, because everybody understands that they could lead to a co-worker coming up with a fantastic idea.
In other words, a well-managed growth company encourages people to do things and experiment, instead of being afraid of mistakes. And to learn instead of covering up incompetence. A growth company does not just grow according to numbers and statistics, also the people there have a chance to grow; there are new things and situations every day that were unknown to the company only yesterday.
2. A growth company is a place where strategies lead rapidly into actions
A growth company offers an excellent work environment for those who want to go on quickly from planning to doing. All too often companies’ development projects start by thinking how the management can be convinced about the necessary steps, whether it is about developing personnel satisfaction or the customer experience.
I insist that growth companies move faster onto performing the actual task in hand, and time is not spent endlessly in persuading others and in planning and preparing decisions. In the end, its nimble decision-making that makes it possible to do things so that they lead to results and learning what works and what doesn’t – and suddenly things start to flow and the work and its results seem to run on their own.
3. A growth company is genuinely interested about employee satisfaction
A growth company must find people who want to join the gang. That’s why the management must be genuinely interested about their employees, and also about how to support their various working methods, both from the viewpoint of the physical surroundings and the possibilities for development. The goal is to make possible such a work environment where everyone can make full use of their potential.
In our company, it means that for a change someone works from a horse farm in Iceland, someone else does remote work for half the day because there is a new puppy in the family, and yet another co-worker is best motivated when studying is made possible alongside with the work.
As a conclusion:
Things are still not always easy. Growth happens when you are at your discomfort zone, during those moments when you realize your limitations and start to doubt whether you have the skills to do the job. Just a little while ago you were hyped up about being able to bring strategies into practice, but now you are actually doing things on the operative level. During those moments you realize that the upper level jargon and nicely prepared transparencies only get you so far, and if you really want to succeed you have to be interested in detail, even up to a point when it becomes annoying. Learning new things and being creative is sometimes tiring, but at the same time it is tremendously rewarding.
This means that at best a growing company offers much more than just a hoodie, flexible remote work possibilities and fun leisure activities. Growth companies need a wide range of skills, but mostly they need the right attitude and people who dare to make things happen. Maybe your next job could be like that too?