Organization Is A Synonym For Business

benbuie | 5/15/13

This is the last post in my series of things I learned in Projects in Entrepreneurial Companies, a class I took last semester at CU. In the class, students are paired with local startups to complete a small project and understand the entrepreneurial process more fully. Every week, the MBA students in the class meet to talk about everyone’s insights. One that I found insightful from a classmate was the reminder that structure is good for a startup.

This insight isn’t particularly hard for me to accept. I’ve been saying for years that there’s a reason that organization is a synonym for business. Structure allows businesses to leverage the power of automation, to deliver value consistently, and to grow efficiently.

At the same time, I see the other side of the structure coin. One of the beauties of a startup is they are nimble (they can change their course easily), and they are innovative (they are open to new ideas that could bring value to society). Sometimes structure cements the status quo and snuffs new ideas. In addition, structure is costly. For instance, the organizational and administration skills of an MBA are expensive and can’t be justified when those skills aren’t leveraged across an organization.

Like everything in life, structure needs to be balanced. Taking the position that no structure is needed will often leave entrepreneurs spinning their wheels wasting resources. On the other hand, too much structure can smother creativity and innovation. The balance will differ with every team, industry, and stage of the company; but if you want your company to grow to anything substantial, structure will eventually be your best friend. The trick is to prevent it from stifling innovation.

About the Author

Ben currently works as a contract web developer and business consultant in Boulder, Colorado.

His passion for entrepreneurship led him to study business and learn to code. Although he never anticipated working on the web, Ben has spent the past 9 years learning everything he could about building and operating websites and web assets.

When not at work, Ben spends a lot of his time with family. He is married to a “beautiful” woman and they are raising 4 energetic boys. In his spare time he loves keeping up with technology, playing guitar, eating Sweet Cow ice cream, and painting (although he has very little time for painting these days). Other than that, Ben is a supporter of freedom and liberty, a fluent speaker of Russian, and he tries to be a humble follower of Jesus.

Read more about Ben.