- Nov 21, 2019
Rapid growth may be the entrepreneur’s dream, but it can bring unique challenges.
For Global Entrepreneurship Week, three entrepreneurs from some of Canada’s fast-growing companies shared lessons on resourcing for high growth, shaping culture, and learning from past mistakes. It was all part of an Ivey Idea Forum in Toronto on November 20 called A conversation with high-growth entrepreneurs.
Eric Morse, Executive Director of the Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship and Special Advisor to the President and Director of Entrepreneurship at Western University, led a fireside chat with the entrepreneurs, including:
- Eric Brass, HBA ’05, Founder of Tequila Tromba;
- Debbie Fung, Co-Founder of Yoga Tree Studios; and,
- Anton Rabie, HBA ’94, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Spin Master.
Here are some key takeaways:
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Tell your staff what to do, not how to do it
Brass said a top-down approach is not the way to go. Instead, he said your staff will surprise you with their ingenuity when you let them take the lead. It will also help to build a culture where your employees believe in the company’s core values.
“Being different means standing for something. Having a belief turns the people on your sales team into storytellers and your employees into preachers,” he said.
Don’t be afraid to fire people
Fung said her company can hire fast, but doesn’t always fire fast – and keeping on employees who aren’t working out only hurts business.
“Make sure that when it’s time to let someone go, you can do it fast and furious,” she said. “We have our challenges with that. It’s our blind spot and we don’t see it coming until it’s too late.”
Learn from your mistakes
Rabie said you learn more from your losses than your wins, so make sure to share your mistakes with your employees so everyone can learn from them.
“When it comes to mistakes, it’s important to keep them front, centre, and visible,” he said. “Outside of my office, we’ve hung the products that were big mistakes and we’ve written on them the lessons learned.”
Want to learn more?
The event was recorded for an upcoming edition of The Ivey Entrepreneur Podcast. Watch for the interviews.