If you’re part of a fast-growing startup, there’s one thing that’ll be inevitable: change.
In the very early days, you can pretty much get shit done any way you like. It’s find to do things your way. Everyone on the team is wearing many hats, and oftentimes one person is basically “3 departments”. You figure things out as you go.
As your company grows, you’ll find that there are certain things you keep figuring out again, and again, and again. And it dawns on you that you could be a lot more efficient if you deliberately design a process. You do so, and while it’s mostly not fun, you’re glad some of the more mundane and repetitive things become more efficient and overall output increases.
The next stage is new team members joining, and roles becoming a bit more specialized. You make some tweaks to your beautiful processes to allow for these new people to add value, and to reflect for the new realities.
The more your company grows, the more new team members join, the more change you’ll be faced with. And the more flexible you’ll have to become with adapting your beautifully established processes.
At times this can be painful—because whenever you have designed and defined an efficient process, it’s normal for you to want to keep doing things this way. Even if you’re someone who embraces and even craves change—process change is typically not the kind of change that’s fun. Launching a new initiative, experimenting with a new marketing channel, going after a new vertical—all of these things can be exciting and fun. But process change—where it’s basically about doing the same thing you’ve been doing so far, just differently, that’s rarely ever fun.
And if you allow yourself to get attached to processes, not only will it be not fun, it will be actually painful and exhausting.
I’ve seen this to be true for many marketers. And while we probably all nod our heads in agreement and say: Yes, yes, of course. The reality is that many of us struggle with this if we don’t intentionally cultivate a mindset that embraces change around our processes.
This typically becomes really important when you’re in the messy middle—a term Scott Belsky used to define the stage when a company is no longer a fledgling startup, but not yet a big established player in the industry.