Transitioning from a corporate environment to leading your own start-up company is no easy task. Some managers may struggle to translate their corporate experience into becoming effective business leaders when joining a fast-growing tech business or start-up.
My special guest, Stuart Bell, CTO of Bloom Procurement Services, shares his own experience on overcoming that challenge. Stuart's career highlights include successfully shifting from working in big corporate tech and financial entities to becoming self-employed and working in the start-up world. He recognizes that this is not an easy jump and advises people to do their homework and be well-prepared for the challenges of making this transition.
Some of the key topics we covered are:
● What should you closely look at when engaging in the tech start-up world?
● How do you build an effective working culture for your team?
● What tools are proven to be effective collaborative platforms for a remote team?
● How do you design social value contributions for your company?
All these, and more, are in this episode of The Lucent Perspective.
Episode Outline and Highlights
[00:43] Stuart's career journey in becoming a CTO.
[03:40] Shifting from big corporate businesses to start-ups - Stuart shares his experience.
[09:30] Working as CTO in Bloom Procurements.
[14:02] How Bloom contributes to social value by design.
[17:54] Stuart shares the project and team they are building.
[22:30] How Bloom's values fit in the culture of their engineering team.
[27:38] Top tips for establishing a healthy working culture within your team.
[30:00] Effective collaboration tools.
[33:30] Practice meeting up periodically when working as remote teams.
[34:16] Tech development that we should be closely monitoring.
[39:37] Transitioning from a corporate setup to start-ups - Stuart reveals best practices and tips.
[43:50] What to look for in talents when setting up a team for start-ups.
Transitioning From a Corporate Environment to Start-Ups
A highlight of Stuart's career is how he shifted from working in the environment of big corporate tech entities to becoming self-employed and working in the start-up world. As he described, "it is not an easy jump; you need to know what you are getting into." I agree with this statement. One observation I have is that leaders can find it challenging to transition from working in big corporates to start-ups. What tips would Stuart give people who want to make that move? To summarize, here are the takeaways from Stuart's advice:
● You must invest much of your time professionally and personally, most notably at the leadership level.
● A start-up level will be a five or 10-year journey, so it is essential to do your homework.
● Know what your product is.
● Understand the problems it is trying to solve.
● Is there a market that is trying to take hold?
● What is the investor and board structure like?
For Stuart, knowing these things with the right foundations is critical to increasing your chances of success.
Building a Healthy Working Culture Within Your Team
Bloom has a strong sense of trademark values, such as being curious and working together. How do the leaders in their organization embed this when building a healthy working culture?
● Having a leadership team that you can rely on and trust.
● Effective delegation.
● Transparent communication and feedback.
Stuart also shared several practical approaches when building a healthy team culture - such as practical tools for collaboration and periodically meeting in person for his remote team.
The Importance of Social Value
One of the exciting things I saw when working with Bloom is their concept of Social Value. Their website states, "Social Value runs through the veins of our business, including our technology, policies, and processes. This enables us to measure, manage and maximize the social value that we create as a business and offer our customers."
Stuart discusses how they make this happen for their team and make it easy for the businesses they support to do the same.
About Stuart Bell
Stuart is the CTO of Bloom Procurement Services. He has also worked in architectural and technology roles at Sky, Royal London, Atom Bank, and Insights. Stuart specializes in interim digital delivery and transformation, strategy development, and management in high-growth/scaling companies with experience raising venture and public funding.
With a background in digital products, Stuart cuts across the software lifecycle from engineering and architecture to product proposition by taking a holistic approach. His experience in leading teams and enabling enterprise-wide digital solutions within the financial services, media, hospitality, and telco industries has involved him operating at large enterprises to small tech start-ups.
● Stuart on LinkedIn
● Bloom Procurement website link
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Book a time to speak with Rebecca: https://calendly.com/rebeccahastings/discovery-call
Connect with Rebecca
Rebecca is the Founder and Director of The Lucent Group. She has extensive talent acquisition and executive search experience supporting digital and technology businesses through complex changes and fast-paced scale-up periods. She works with businesses advising on C-level, technical and commercial appointments, workforce planning, strategic talent management, recruitment processes, and associated technology and employer brand development. She has led and built successful teams, led numerous C-level, VP, Director, and Head-of searches, and designed and implemented outsourced recruitment solutions. In 2019 she helped a FinTech client secure a place in LinkedIn's Top 25 Start-ups in the UK. Rebecca is a member of the REC (MREC), a qualified career coach, Certified Interviewer (CI), and has professional qualifications in FinTech, HR, Leadership, Digital Marketing, Diversity, Unconscious Bias, and Talent Management.
● Rebecca on LinkedIn
● The Lucent Group Ltd website - https://www.thelucentgroup.co.uk/