Startup culture fosters creativity
When tech startups launch, we often see ridiculous titles flying around like “Chief Hug Officer,” which budding brands use as a means of making clear to consumers that they are creative, innovative, and cool. There is a certain level of creativity that comes along with startup life, a certain youthful mentality to risking it all to start a new company.
Rather than foster this creativity and idealism in the form of trendy buzzwords, we recently learned that Spark CRM took a different approach to empower team members by functioning on a horizontal plane, with all team members being at an equal level with one another.
Simeon Garratt, CEO and Director of Marketing at Spark CRM tells AGBeat, “This gives everyone the ability to focus on what they are best at, and also gives our clients access to not just someone who can be ‘customer support’, but also our developers and designers, so we can constantly be creating and growing the product based on active feedback from those using it.”
The startup has six people, all of whom assume different roles, and while using traditional titles rather than trendy startup titles, by operating horizontally, the company has a unique flexibility that other startups and budding companies should consider.
“Our customers I believe appreciate that everyone involved in the company plays on a pretty level field,” Garratt noted, “as we’re all available for questions and all are involved in problem solving.”
Advantages and disadvantages of this type of setup
This type of leadership is tremendously advantageous for consumers, but comes with some drawbacks. Garratt said, “The advantages of this mean that our customers have access to all levels of the company, from development, to design and marketing. We use this to help build our product around our customers needs. Instead of dictating how they should use the software, we work with them collaboratively to push both the product and the industry forward.”
He notes, however, that the disadvantages could be that there may sometimes be confusing as to who a client should contact regarding an issue, “but so far this hasn’t happened, and as we grow we will have assigned reps to individual accounts to avoid this.”
The biggest surprise comes from consumers
Garratt reports that from their experience since launching, the biggest surprise has been how willing clients are to get involved in the development of the product. “They provide lots of in depth feedback and suggestions as to how we can move the product forward, not only benefiting them, but all of our other clients as well. Our biggest piece of feedback has always been that we are exceptional to work with and have unbeatable customer service.”
Considering this approach to leadership roles
Although untraditional, this approach to leadership roles is a unique Utopia that, although difficult to scale, provides consumers with a valuable experience when interacting with a brand.
Instead of worrying about whether your job titles are creative an hip enough, consider the actual structure of these leadership roles and how best this structure can serve your own customers.