How I Got Fired
I fired myself this week. Yep. I fired myself as Vice President and Social Media Director of Mynstein. As a matter of fact, Chance fired himself too. We just went on a firing frenzy this week. So that’s a wrap right? Fold up the tents and call it a valiant effort. If this were a “corporate” job the answer would be yes. The beauty of a Lean Startup is that getting fired can actually be a good thing. How can getting fired ever be a good thing?
In the first chapter of The Lean Startup, Eric encourages startups to set up cross functional teams rather than the corporate functional departments. Accountability is measured through “Learning Milestones” within the organization instead of how well you perform in your job description.
This week particularly, Chance and I began to get more caught up in “titles” and “scope of work” language, and it was getting in the way of the project. So we did what any logical entrepreneurs would do. We fired ourselves. To be a more specific, we fired ourselves from our titles.
It’s important we document this experience because for all intents and purposes, this should have been pretty tough week for business partners. A week where ego barriers, finger pointing and blame casting could have run wild, we decided to go back to the basics of the Lean Startup Methodology. Adversity proved to be a valuable learning experience for all members of Mynstein, Chance and J being front and center.
My personal takeaway this past week is that accountability is not ignored when implementing Lean cross functional teams. In fact, there is an increase of accountability because of a vested interest. Along the way, mutual respect is developed between team members, as opposed to having to do something because it’s in my job description.
Job titles in Lean Startups really are just titles. They are usually self imposed “ranks” that can be detrimental, if not catastrophic to your success.
If you are operating a small business or a startup we have some homework for you this week. That’s right… fire yourself. It’s better to just get it over and done with swiftly. Implement “cross functional teams” as the new standard operating procedure. If you currently are working in an environment with cross functional teams, please let us know how this is affecting your startup!
We recommend The Lean Start Up to learn more about managing cross functional teams and holding members accountable. Click the book cover below to get your copy!