Management Awareness in the Startups (Part 1)

When it comes to entrepreneurship or business management, we have always been fed with many new business terms and concepts by the trainer market:

👉Business model

👉Team incentives

👉Equity incentives

👉Top-level design


👉Business Landscape

👉Product differentiation

👉Social media marketing

These concepts are indeed important, but we also need to understand that enterprise development has its stages, and there are no shortcuts to implementation. We need to know which stage we are at, what needs to be addressed, and understand that methods and implementation require systematic approaches and discipline.

Different stages focus on different priorities. Overemphasizing or prematurely focusing on certain aspects can lead to unrealistic expectations or distort resource allocation, ultimately backfiring.

While concepts like business models, market trends, top-level design, and business landscape are important, no matter how advanced, lofty, or crucial these business ideas are, their implementation often boils down to management. The fundamental logic of competition is also about management.

Courage, Strength, Foundation

My karate master in my university life told every student that the key to learning martial arts on the first day: courage, strength, and foundation.

In business, what can exponentially influence the success rate of entrepreneurship or career is to ride on market trends. This relies on our ‘courage’, which refers to our vision in choosing the track and the courage to take action.

Next is innovation (product), which impacts the success rate tenfold. Innovation relies on ‘strength’, which is the magnitude of our effort on innovation and overcoming technical difficulties, developing products at least ten times better than our competitors.

Finally, at the fundamental level, what influences success rate by a few multiples is management, which is the ‘foundation’. It’s about solidifying key activities and operational systems. More importantly, it’s about the organization’s problem-solving ability.

Thus, competition among equally matched competitors is about management capability, essentially the ability to solve problems (review and learning), which requires accumulation over time, hence it’s called foundation.

Management: cultivating execution and organizational strength

Many startup founders are passionate about products or excel at sales and performance. Founders generally possess the “talent” characteristic, an ability to accomplish things, boldness, and leadership. This enables them to achieve initial success in the early stages of a startup. However, they often neglect management to consolidate their achievements, considering them trivial, and mundane. They focus entirely on their grand vision and blueprint. As the company grows, potential management issues begin to surface, sometimes even becoming fatal to the company, such as cash management and talent management.

Regardless of the business concept, internalizing it is crucial. Internalization means gradually absorbing, changing, adjusting, and evolving the new business concepts we’ve learned to be compatible with our existing corporate structure. This requires a process of testing, observation, evaluation, and adjustment.

Management makes the execution process more systematic, disciplined (focused), and consistent.

So, what exactly is execution?

Simply put, it can be summarized into four key aspects: strategic focus and clarity, execution cycles, problem-solving, and organizational strength.

Firstly, strategic focus and clarity are crucial. We use the OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, Measures) framework to ensure strategic direction clarity. This framework helps companies define goals, develop strategies, set specific measures, and determine metrics, ensuring all employees work towards common objectives, reducing confusion and disagreement.

Secondly, establishing and maintaining consistency in the execution system is equally important. We build structured execution processes using the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle. This method ensures that the company’s actions are efficient and orderly and that regular evaluations and optimizations enable the company to quickly respond to market changes and internal issues. The application of the PDCA cycle not only improves execution efficiency but also promotes continuous improvement within the company.

Moreover, the ability to solve problems and make decisions is key to addressing challenges and seizing opportunities. We emphasize fostering a culture of innovation and critical thinking, enabling teams to identify, analyze, and solve problems. Establishing this culture not only enhances the team’s adaptability but also stimulates employee creativity and enthusiasm, helping the company maintain a competitive edge in the market.

In addition, startup founders must recognize that building a scientific and effective management system is fundamental to ensuring the company’s long-term stability and development. A strong management system includes strategic planning and execution and involves designing organizational structures and building management teams. Founders need to value the development of management teams, continually improving their management capabilities through training and practice, establishing scientific decision-making processes, and ensuring that every company decision is well-thought-out and scientifically evaluated.

Furthermore, companies must continually learn and improve, enhancing organizational strength. By continuously learning industry knowledge and management skills, companies can timely update and optimize their management systems, adapting to market changes and customer needs. Only in this way can companies stand out in the competitive business environment and achieve long-term steady development.