In 1950 the Robbers Cave experiment found that it was most effective to get a group of people to bond through the pursuit of common goals that required co-operative discussion, planning and execution as opposed to team building exercises.
This is an academic study and last night during Startup Grind Thames Valley, Adam Hale (former CEO Fairsail), provided his account and advice on how to scale a business from £400k revenue to £115m acquisition by Sage.
It is apparent when you meet employees of Sage People (formerly Fairsail) that this culture has not created followers but leaders and this form of distributered leadership is what really helps to scale businesses.
The 5 things listed below seem to support this theory and were no doubt key elements to his success:
Adam has written his scaleup story down and will be released over the coming months on his LinkedIn account (here). The extract below will qualify whether you should take the time to read it. I am looking forward to tuning in....
Who might be interested in these Tales? · People with ambition who want to be involved with creating a global leader · People involved in a scale up or working with one. There might be some things worth re-using, and some painful lessons to avoid. All businesses are different, just because something worked (or didn’t) for Fairsail doesn’t mean the same is true for other businesses · People wondering if they would enjoy a scale up. Prior to this role I spent 26 years working for global professional services firms and was told countless times that I was ‘not qualified to run anything‘. Almost all of the executive team of Fairsail were doing their role for the first time, just because you haven’t done a role before doesn’t mean you can’t