Startups are usually founded by teams with big ambitions. They pour their money and time into a business, often spending most of their day with each other. But when you’re spending so much time together, there’s bound to be some disagreements. Tensions arise and, if left uncheck, can cause the failure of a startup. Here’s a few ways to tackle this kind of disharmony head-on.
Disharmony in a founding team is one of the biggest reasons why startups fail. Over at StartupSmart, venture partner at Trimantium Capital and a startup mentor Angus Parker said that disagreements can be a vital part of running a successful business:
“Tension and conflict are important features in dynamic, successful businesses. But if unresolved, this discord can lead to slower decision making, frustration born from shifting priorities and direction, and reduced staff commitment and performance.
“If a venture is performing well, issues may be pushed into the background, sometimes for many years, until a reputational or liquidity event brings it to the fore.”
Equity split, decision making, incompatible values or personalities can all cause tension among startup founders.
Parker recommends using a variety of tools and techniques to address tensions and conflicts, including using formal documents to promote discussion and cement agreements and founder vows, operating documents to clarify the direction of the business, employing the help of external people such as mentors and using regular rituals like morning meetings to maintain communication.
“If founders do not consciously address the potential for disharmony, their venture has a higher risk of failure,” Parker said.
You can read more about what Parker has to say about managing startup disharmony over at StartupSmart.