You just started working at a startup and you’ve already been through two CEOs, a rebranding, and three office changes. Things move fast at a startup! Maybe you already read about issues that can face startups, so you know at a high level, what the possible issues are. What can you do to survive those changes?
People won’t often commit to telling the truth online on social media or on email. The best way to get the scoop is to ask in the hallway or to grab a quick coffee. Once you ask someone face to face, you’ll have a better sense of what really happened, and be better prepared. You’ll also know who can be trusted to tell you the truth, since even small companies can be rife with politics.
Make an Organizational Chart
Chances are, if you don’t know what happened, someone else doesn’t know, either. So try making an org chart. Even if it’s just for you, it can give you a clear idea of the company hierarchy. Share it with others, and ask for their changes and clarifications. People love sharing their knowledge. I’ve found that people don’t mean to be confusing, but sometimes in their hurry to get things done, they don’t think about how their actions will affect others.
Be the One to Organize
Again, if you’re confused, others are, too. Show initiative and organize, take notes, and call for meetings to clarify what’s happening. Your language can say “I’m assuming…” so that others know that you don’t really have all the answers.
Make sure to date everything, so that later you can go back and unravel events if you need to. Meeting notes can remind you and others of what happened when and with whom. Who took that action item? Who promised to fix that bug in the software? Where’s the name of that consultant again? Put it in the notes, and create a folder of notes that everyone can access. I like to send notes to the whole team and ask them to read and make corrections.
Call for Meetings
A meeting can be just two people having coffee, or the entire team giving an update. If you set an agenda, people usually appreciate that. They may want to change it, so don’t be too attached to it.
There are obviously tons of other issues, but for now I’m going to get in my clown car and buzz off. Another post will follow.
What Helps You?
Have you gone through management changes at your startup? How did that feel and how did you deal with it?