Academy of Management Conference
This week at ScaleUpNation we’ve been busy preparing for the Academy of Management Specialized Conference in Tel Aviv next week. The theme “From Start-up to Scale-up Strategies: Coping with Organizational Challenges in a Volatile Business Environment” is timely and relevant as we develop further insights and tools that we can immediately put into practice for the scale-ups in our programs.
ScaleUpNation is joining this conference to learn from the impressive slate of participants, including those whose thinking has been instrumental in our research and product development. We’re especially looking forward to:
- A keynote from Kathleen Eisenhardt (Stanford W. Ascherman M.D. Professor and Co-Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program). Her work on strategy and organization helped add a new perspective on scaling challenges. We especially recommend her book Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World.
- Meeting Noam Wasserman (Jorge Paulo and Susanna Leman Chair in Entrepreneurship, Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California), author of one of our ScaleUpNation all-time favorites, The Founder’s Dilemma. Such a favorite that we summarized it here. Professor Wasserman’s work with practitioners on leadership and decision making provides a powerful trigger for our research questions.
- A keynote from Michael Tushman (Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School). The idea of ambidexterity has been a key source of inspiration in our research direction, including our Lead and Evolve project.
- A presentation from Carrington Motely, a PhD student in Professor Chuck Eesley’s lab. Their recent publication: “Born into Chaos: The Role of the Founding Environment and Performance Impacts of Founding Team Composition” provided much food for thought, and we’re looking forward to a lively discussion during his presentation.
In addition to learning through conversations and attending lectures, we’re also hosting two interactive workshops on Monday December 17. This is also the moment we begin to share our Lab’s first academic papers and new thesis on “The Art of Scaling.”
The workshops are interactive: designed to leverage the wisdom of the crowd to both learn more from true experts on scaling topics and leverage these experts to help real (in the flesh!) scale-up founders facing immediate challenges. We’re looking forward to our sessions:
Into the Black Box of Scaling
In the workshop, we invite participants to engage in a researcher-practitioner discussion on two questions:
- Which scale-up success factors are insufficiently understood or implemented by scale-up management teams, so warrant better awareness and implementation?
- Which scale-up success factors are insufficiently clear or ambivalent and need further research to avoid simplistic actions by scale-up management teams?
We, as researchers and practitioners will share what we know and want to get across and as importantly what we don’t and need to find out. This is an ideal opportunity for practitioners and researchersto collaborate based on shared passion and purpose.
Acting as a Scale-up Board Member
In this session, we invite participants to engage in acting as a board member. CEOs from Tel Aviv-based scale-ups will participate in this session and ask you to engage in a board meeting. We will ask you to reflect on the dynamics and effectiveness, with regard to the following:
- What is required to be a scale-up board member?
- What is the difference between investing, advising and coaching?
- What inhibits you to be most effective?
As Board membership is an experience game, we especially welcome to this session those participants who, like ourselves, already fulfill board roles in young innovative firms.
This is a chance for practitioners and researchers to define the key challenges of scale-up board membership, to share the best practices from research and articulate what we still need to find out. Moreover, we aim to give you direct connections to the vibrant Tel Aviv scale-up community.
Looking forward to seeing you at AOM next week!
Social challenges are also entrepreneurial opportunities. Many innovative new businesses are started but only very few are able to scale.
And only those that scale really moves the needle in terms of social impact, economic value creation and new employment.
Over the last years, we worked intensively with a portfolio of about 100 scale-ups in the Netherlands to understand the factors that increase the probability of scaling success. We work on strategy/firm factors, business practices, organizational/HRM practices, as well as leadership development. We combine practice with research.
In our work, we find that scaling is an art, not a mechanistic formula. Scale-ups operate in a volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous world, so a lot is outside their control. Scale-ups are entrepreneurial by nature; they engage in risk taking and therefore depend on good fortune. Their success is path dependent. And finally, scaling is organic, interconnected, symbiotic. Still, we strongly believe that practices can be distilled that significantly increase probability of scale-up success.
Hayat Chedid, has a corporate background with a range of managerial positions in industrial innovation settings, followed by a second career in leadership coaching. She supports a portfolio of scale-ups in leadership development and culture building. She will lead the introduction sessions and group facilitation.
Menno van Dijk, has a consulting background as senior partner at McKinsey company, leader of its European Media practice, and founder of its first software business. Menno founded THNK, the School for Creative Leadership, and ScaleUpNation which blends research on scale-up success factors and support to impact oriented scale-ups. He will lead the storytelling session, the setting the scene session, facilitate in the topic break-out and will participate as scale-up CEO.
Jorgen Sandig (Netherlands), is an IT expert with focus on CRM and embedded intelligence. He is the founder/CEO of Scyfer, a Dutch AI scale-up which he sold to Qualcomm. Since he is leading ScaleUpNation’s research efforts. He will facilitate in the topic break-outs and participate as scale-up CEO.
Afroditi Terzi (Greece) is a senior researcher at ScaleUpNation. She leads our research in comparing scale-ups to those that stall, across firm factors, business practices, organizational concepts and leadership traits. In addition, she orchestrates our scientific literature research. She will facilitate in the topic break-outs.
Noam Gressel is a Tel Aviv based serial entrepreneur an investor. He will orchestrate the participation of scale-up CEOs in the Board session.