“A continuous focus on the hard numbers is key for a business to survive and thrive,” knows Frieda Janssens. “But, let’s never forget that it’s the collaborators who make those numbers.”
As a former top manager in various large and mid-sized companies, Frieda Janssens knows what it takes to make a business thrive. Over the past years, she has been advising organisations on how to optimally design their processes to be successful (again). “A company needs to focus on the hard numbers. There is no excuse for sloppiness there”, says Frieda. “But, managers who only focus on those hard numbers, will have a hard time reaching them.” The numbers are the result of individual hard working people. That’s why human-centric businesses on average are more successful than businesses who are pre-occupied with financial spreadsheets.
Startup evolution requires different leaders for different stages
A clear focus on people is even more relevant in new companies, greenfield ventures, and startups. “In a small company, every individual has a tremendous impact on the processes and hence on the business results”, continues Frieda. “The biggest challenge however, is that the leadership team should change several times over the course of a few years.” A new company that starts as an idea and evolves into a growing international business, will need a fundamentally different organisation in each of its evolutionary stages. “In the beginning, a new venture requires a small team of hyper-agile innovators. These people are not the right leaders to make an existing business grow internationally,” knows Frieda. “It’s a big mistake to try and keep the founders running the business, just because they once had a brilliant idea. Very few founders make it into great leaders, but nevertheless that’s what cap table experts preach.”
Venture building that embeds the evolutionary leadership requirements
Frieda is going to lead ImpactBuilders’ first venture building services hub in Brussels. She will be hiring and coaching the venture builders who are going to coach the various ventures that we are going to build. “It will be an interesting challenge to attract and coach venture builders who are flexible enough to grasp the fundamental evolutionary differences of a new organisation over the course of its first few years,” says Frieda. “And yet, in the same time, our venture builders will have to focus on achieving hard numbers together with the changing venture leadership team. In order to keep paying attention to the numbers, our venture builders also coach the re-building process for portfolio companies of private equity firms and VCs. These clients will keep them razor-sharp.”
Frieda Janssens (BE)
Frieda is one of the cornerstones of ImpactBuilders. She leads the Brussels Regional Hub, and is coaching the Venture Builders and Venture Leaders of the ventures around Brussels. She is a top advisor too, and has the certificates of Lego® Serious Play® Facilitator and Cultural Transformation Tools Practitioner of the Barrett Values Centre. Moreover, she is an organisation design advisor from “the real world”. She had been working in various managerial positions in medium-size and large corporations for several decades.…More …