Startups & Scaleups

New firms are not immune from the creeping bureaucracy and divisions that we see in larger organisations. How can fast-growing smaller firms design their own organisational operating systems to grow their early culture, not leave it behind to become a mini-corporate?

Grow your own organisational structures

The challenges of rapid growth can often lead to shortcuts such as falling back on old divided structures, poor hiring and bureaucratic management to maintain control. Too often, successful startups leave behind the strong culture they had early on, and pay the price later.

Agile development is the norm in most startups, but agile management and distributed transformation are just as important, and easy to achieve by involving employees early on.

Our simple tools and methods for distributed transformation are designed to create adaptive organisations where change becomes a routine part of how they are managed. This is easier to understand and achieve in a startup than in a large corporate that is trying to reform.

Capability and talent mapping, improvement backlogs, sprints and agile strategy and leadership are fundamentally simple approaches that can enable scaling without losing your mojo.

Service elements

  • Digital Workplace development
  • Technology adoption & culture change
  • Leadership development & learning
  • Platforms & startup ecosystems
  • Incubation and innovation
  • Connected digital strategy


Challenges we address

  • Need to become more agile
  • Silos and divisions holding you back
  • Speed up innovation in IoT
  • Involve the workforce in new tech
  • New technology-based services
  • Preparing for a world of data & AI

Typical Benefits

  • Increased adoption and utility for digital workplace technologies
  • Lower end-user support costs
  • Digital skills development at all levels of the organisation
  • Improved user engagement for digital ways of working
Between Two Worlds

Between Two Worlds

Thoughts on institutional upgrades, hierarchies versus networks, and re-wilding as an organisational design priority. This week’s ‘Lunch with the FT’ featured the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, and he had some interesting things to say ($) about how mature...

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Just Another Bad Day at the Office?

Just Another Bad Day at the Office?

In this edition, Livio reflects on the cognitive deficit of leaders, the undying corporate addiction to meetings, and why these are terrible for getting important stuff done. Reading & learning are not just ‘nice to haves’ There are plenty of reasons why time to...

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Our Global Moment of Liminality

Our Global Moment of Liminality

  Cerys explores ways in which leaders can help individuals and organisations embrace this unique moment of liminality as we transition to new realities. A year ago, HBR shared an article on our opportunity to use the “prolonged time of trial” represented by the...

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Leadership Development: Designing for Relevance

Leadership Development: Designing for Relevance

In this edition, we look at some common challenges faced by L&D functions when designing effective leadership development programs that deliver practical value in our ever-changing digital world. The L&D challenge Business leaders generally agree that, rather...

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