Friday, 5 August 2016

"Create a culture that rewards killing ideas"

I subscribe to many newsletters to keep abreast of standout happenings in leadership, change and performance leadership, and the new world of work in general. One newsletter that I always give time and energy to is from Peter Diamandis.

In a recent edition Peter shares insights from his interview with Idealab Founder Bill Gross which he prefaces by saying "Idealab has built an incredible ecosystem optimized to ideate, start, build, and grow great technology startups ... So far, their track record is unparalleled. Of the 150 companies they launched, 45 have now gone public or had M&A activities, and 45 are still active now. And, importantly, they've had 60 failures."

From the Diamandis newsletter 9 key lessons derived from 150 startups

3. Create a culture that rewards killing ideas.

As I've discussed with regard to Google's moonshot factory 'X', Idealab also believes in killing ideas quickly.

Bill explains, "We kill a lot of ideas. There is no risk to our people; nobody gets fired. In fact, people get praised when we kill something. We save a lot of money when we kill a bad idea."

It is so critically important that this notion is ingrained into your culture – otherwise, it will never work. Reward your people for finding ways ideas won't work before you invest heavily in them.

The other 8 lessons (all in my view relevant for all businesses not just technology start-ups)

It's easier when YOU are the customer
If you have an idea, test it!
Equity unlocks human potential
TIMING is the most important factor in startup success
Startups don't have to be in Silicon Valley – you can scale from almost anywhere these days
Adaptability and flexibility are the most important characteristics of a good CEO
Trial Periods are great ways to test "Talent Fit."
Passion should be the reason you do a startup

Be remarkable.
Ian
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