The Silicon Valley Model

Entrepreneurial management for innovation

This Thursday I was invited to a book launch and workshop in Gothenburg Organized by my research colleagues Annika Steiber and Sverker Alänge.

The book
The book is based on several years of research focusing on the management models of the most successful Silicon Valley companies. They have mapped out, analyzed and synthesized management principles applied by companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Tesla Motors, Twitter and Facebook.

Dr. Annika Steiber presenting the model from the book.
Dr. Annika Steiber presenting the model from the book.

Entrepreneurial management
What their research is showing us is that the most successful companies in Silicon Valley live and breathe innovation. Everything in their daily business surrounds finding new inventions, new opportunities and new innovations. The structures of the organization are built around giving every employee a mandate and a setting in which to vitalize the company’s vision. Traditional management models have emphasized the importance of operational efficiency, which effectively puts the spotlight on maintaining the status quo. A hard structure is more difficult to adjust than a fluid one, thus the limelight was previously more focused on the model itself than on embracing and enhancing talent, expertise and creativity.

The most innovative Silicon Valley firms have a contrasting approach that has adjusted to the digital era and that embraces a flat, agile and talent-oriented structure. It puts talent in the center and emphasizes the importance of accessing the best minds for the job. The organization exists to support the employees and expect five core qualities out of every participant:

  1. Entrepreneurial. Every person should be self-dependent, seek opportunities and take initiatives.
  2. Adaptable. Agility and the willingness to embrace change is highly regarded.
  3. Passionate. Loving what you do and sharing the passion for the company’s vision.
  4. Constantly challenging the status quo. Constantly thinking about change and new ideas.
  5. Collaborative. Always striving for dialogs, perspectives and synergy.

The innovative organization consists of small, fast and agile teams, rather than rigid departments and they are set for change rather than for stability. This insight completely rocks the boat of classic management theory and needs to be adapted by every manager in every fast-moving market.

You can retrieve your own electronic Kindle copy of the book from Amazon.