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While large and established companies have many advantages over their smaller competitors, nothing quite beats the spirit of innovation one can find in a startup. The vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of a small team dedicated to finding a novel solution to a particularly vexing problem can lead to whole host of creative ideas. Some of them good, some of them bad, but it’s the unique advantage of a small entrepreneurial team that it can try out, test, keep or discard idea – this is what makes for a startup culture.
To create for an atmosphere that fosters this kind of innovative thinking, several components need to fall into place.
- Safe Space to Fail
Successes are what we are after, but making mistakes is how we learn. To arrive at one idea that works we sometimes need to discard a hundred ideas that don’t. People must feel that they can fail as part of the process, to take risks in pursuit of great ideas.
- A Culture of Collaboration
Nothing fosters growth and innovation like collaboration. Bouncing ideas off each other quickly weeds out what works and what doesn’t, and when a project is worked on together everyone throws themselves at it with more ardour. When people take risks together and fail together, they learn faster together .Sadly, many are afraid that they will be judged if they freely express their thoughts. Creating an environment that is open, listening, and non-judgmental is key to creating a startup culture.
- Feedback with Integrity
We learn a lot from our failures, but to truly effectively learn from them we need good feedback. Good is the key word here. Feedback is essential for all ideas, but it should and must inspire creative thinking rather than crushing it. Feedback has to contain the truth, and it must come directly from the source, so this vital information is not altered or distorted along the way. The convoluted bureaucracy of a large company makes this incredibly difficult to accomplish, but even a startup sometimes needs to work on setting up good feedback procedures.