I talk a lot of smack about the MBA. I even scoff at the audacity that these $50,000 conformity machines now have programs on innovation and entrepreneurship. I’m not saying that their students don’t need these skills, but certainly most of those so-called Titans of Industry aren’t qualified to teach them.
I think a lot of us entrepreneurs feel the same way. We’re the risk takers, unafraid of failing or falling, we like to pick things up as we go and then wax poetic about all we’ve learned along the way. But just because you want to be your own boss and to run your own business doesn’t mean you have any idea how to do that. Start-up CEOs have been some of the worst managers I’ve ever encountered.
As your small business starts to grow, processes have to be in place. You used to hold a “team meeting” at the local diner any time something major happened, but now you’re just too busy addressing top-shelf customer needs and fielding questions from potential investors. You like to be the cool, transparent and devil-may-care managing director, but you just don’t have the time.
When you do get around to the administrative stuff like performance appraisals, it’s piecemeal and half-hearted, confusing even. Eventually, you hire an HR cog from So-Not-a-Start-up to do it all for you.
Your company is quickly growing beyond your scrappy team of founders and you never stopped to set up core policies and procedures. In short, while an MBA program is just so not what you need, you sure could learn a lot from the future middle management of the world.
From Day One, how you communicate with your team, how you delegate, how you handle performance management, how you implement change management, and so many more important details are what truly define if your company will be successful or not.
After all, people will always be your organization’s most valuable asset.
Here are some important start-up spins on the old MBA faithfuls. What are you going to do to implement this change management into your budding business today?