From the Blog...

Four thought – Radio Four, on the start-up culture.

I have just listened to Judith Clegg, (Wednesday 11th January 2012 20;45) explaining some of the characteristics of ‘the start-up culture’, and her personal observations on how these could be adopted widely to bring about change in other sectors. She began by looking at the past year and pointing to the turmoil the world has experienced in a few months; the near collapse of the Euro, the Arab spring, the occupy movement. Old ways of doing things are changing and Judith points out that” the entrepreneurial culture does not accept that there is a set way to do things. It finds the way people want to do things.”

The ones I have come away with are:

  • A culture of accountability and transparency, with an attentive approach to customers. (“Successful start-ups do not have the luxury of treating whole swathes of customers as if they do not matter”).
  • ‘Pay it forward’, I was helped and now I help others as part of an approach to life.
  • Good ideas are recognised and turned into new ways of delivering value.
  • Work should be enjoyable and fulfilling, and start-ups work at being a great place to work.
  • Start-ups are typically chaotic and everyone pitches in.
  • Entrepreneurs refuse to give up , often have a visionary zeal.
  • Start-ups often fail and failure needs to be part of the journey to success.
  • The entrepreneurial mindset can be applied to any type of work.

Judith Clegg was talking to an audience at the RSA in London and it was delivered as a personal story which I thought worked well. She runs the Takeout consultancy which helps big organisations learn lessons from the start-up community, the Glasshouse, a meeting place for entrepreneurs, and is co-founder of a start-up investment fund. An edited version of her talk can be found on the BBC website.