Elliott and Lillian Cardus

Young start up organizations the leader drives the company. Mature developed organizations the company drives the leader.

Consulting on team building with 2 different companies.
  1. Automotive Manufacturer – a long established well-developed organization.
  2. Marketing & Communications – a young rapidly growing start-up organization.

I hear challenges & feedback from the leadership in both. Both are different, need different interventions & ideas, have different constraints.

When I state Systems-Drive-Behavior the response is People control the system….

  • That is true in the young startup
  • That is not true in the mature developed organization
Young Start Up – Where leaders drive the company

The work, ideas & leadership are centralized, usually to the entrepreneur or a small group of trusted staff who have been there since the beginning. The work is all about results. If the work achieves results, everyone is happy & the hope for profit remains.

Very few Policies & Procedures are not useful. The procedure is fluid, focuses on results, everyone in the company is busy, & the leadership is the 1st to break procedures when they do not match the need for results.

The leader is captain & able to drive behavior through their persuasion,  charisma, & people’s willingness to be a part of this rapidly changing workplace.

  • This cannot last forever & will become dysfunctional as the company matures.
Mature, developed organization – where the company drives leadership

The work, ideas & leadership is decentralized, usually with greater authority & accountability to legal & several committees within the company. Any changes to get done have to go through a litany of committees. The work is procedures. The idea of chasing profit is not as powerful as the idea of sustainability & measured growth.

There are established Policies & Procedures. They are useful because the people need to know how to work within the system & the rewards for ‘good work.’ Stability creates predictable growth & comfort.

The leader works through politics, indirect influence, slow – a slight change that aligns with profit, sustainability & strategic plans of the organization.

  • This needs to be monitored & challenged or tossed into complication or complexity to ensure that the company is not losing the competitive edge.

How you treat & create change within either system is different.


What do you think?

How do you see leadership & change being different in different company life cycles? What works best based on the type of company you are working within?