Give it time

A few weeks ago, I was having a discussion with someone who was considering choosing between developing or acquiring a relatively new brand which had built a small base of business. My take was, it would take 4-5 years to begin developing a brand that is clearly identifiable, but if he had the time that would be a worthwhile investment rather than acquiring a half-baked concept.

Yesterday, in a discussion the thought popped up thatĀ a similar time-frame applies to any new business; for it to start developing its foundation, for its organisational dynamics and structures to mature, for rough edges to be discovered and managed, for the team’s common objectives to be articulated in a common language and get really internalised.

A friend also drew the parallel to Bruce Tuckman’s modelĀ (1965) of group development (Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing). These stages need to be necessarily gone through, and can only be accelerated somewhat.

So it was quite a pleasant suprise when a validation came from the philosophical side today: “It helps to remember the story of the Chinese bamboo which does not even show a shoot for the first four years. In the fifth year, however, it shoots up to a towering height. How? Because the first four years are given to building a dense network of roots that give the new plant foundation and support in soaring high. We too, unknown to ourselves, are building a solid foundation, or perhaps unbuilding a false foundation. These efforts are invisible and take time. Just keep going.” (Suma Varughese, editor-in-chief, Life Positive)

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2 Responses to Give it time

  1. Alagu Balaraman says:

    Building on your thought, customers are likely to pay only for true value. They are likely to adopt a new product or service over an existing one only if it is faster, better or cheaper. In such a circumstance, new ventures have to be high performing teams – mediocrity is a luxury that only well entrenched large players can afford.

    So, it is not surprising that group development is applicable to new businesses. They have to be better performing than the others in the environment.

  2. Anaggh Desai says:

    Quite true; but as Gujarati, Marwari & Sindhi businessmen would tell you: Beta any business takes 1000 days. Once you have crossed these, unless you are completely incompetent or bent on suicidal tendencies the likelihood of it failing is remote:)

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