My initial thoughts on start-ups were that start-up companies are not supposed to work in a highly professional manner with clear cut out guidelines. They are not supposed to have standardized their actions which act as organisational boundaries, and their strategy is supposed to be short term with their direction determined mostly by their clients.
Having unintentionally approached the office like an ethnographer, my most major “breakdown” has been that I was clearly mistaken to think this way… The stereotypes engraved in my head about start-ups have definitely proven not to be the case here at Rapid Innovation Group. This week, I decided to expand on this and describe how my preconceptions were challenged here at RIG.
The level of professionalism at RIG has struck me from the start. People here are very committed to their work and the company as a whole. Such company citizenship is hard to come across when there are so many opportunities out there. When working for a 20,000+ employee industry leader, an opportunity lost is likely to affect one’s career for good. This I believe plays a big role in increased motivation along with competitive rivalry at work in such offices.
Conversely though, there is another type of motivation here at RIG; motivation to grow the business large hand-in-hand, without the competitive rivalry. This is evident at first glance. As a result, there seems to be no hidden information. Everybody is aware of what the other team members are doing and everybody is willing to chip in with their expertise to help the company close deals or provide best possible services.
Additionally, this quality is accentuated by the business tools used, the way in which everything is run and stored on a “cloud” drive and the way everybody is connected to each other’s computer. Presumably these are qualities very hard to establish in a mature firm. Day-to-day tasks are made very efficient and the company executes tasks very quickly thanks to this IT structure and standardized tools. Most importantly though, this quality seems to allow people to provide the highest possible standards in the smallest timeframe possible. In other words, Rapid Innovation Group plays up to its name. This is a quality that I found quite astonishing.
On a more individual note, i.e. about how I am trying to position myself here, I had expected to be able to bring a lot to the company through my previous design and engineering skills, work experience, university network, language skills, and general energy and stamina. Once again – 2nd breakdown – I came to notice that the team formed here at RIG had pretty much nothing short of what I could provide.
So I have yet to prove something I am exceptionally good at! Although a worrying situation for me, I can see the brighter side of things here. Firstly it shows that I will be pushed to my limits in providing something exceptional for my standards. Secondly, with reference to the words of my old tennis coach: “the better your partner is, the more you improve.” I.e. the better my colleagues are, the more I will learn. So I think the next weeks are going to for a very steep learning curve for me.
To sum up my first expressions of RIG, I could say that people are strikingly professional, motivated and highly skilled, and I can be reassured that I will be pushed to my limits, if not further, to attain results… and since I like being challenged… “bring it on RIG!”