The evolution of a management team in times of growth

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In the early days of a start-up, a joint mission and passion drives the entire team. However, with growth comes complexity. Transitioning from start-up to scale-up brings a new set of challenges: how do you maintain company culture as you grow? How do you stay decisive as the landscape becomes increasingly complex? How do you foster autonomy and leadership at all levels?

In this blog, we dive into the management evolution of an organization. We explore the pitfalls many growing companies encounter and share how Dropsolid addresses these challenges. We explain how we as a company apply certain principles to build a strong and resilient organization.

The pitfall of a management team in start-up phase

At a start-up, employees surf along on the founders' passion. A small, close-knit team works toward the same shared goal. During the scale-up phase, a management team of internal growers and external forces often forms to drive the company. The pitfall with such a growing company - especially in the technology sector - is that the management team can no longer be assembled to capture the full breadth and complexity of the landscape. Making the right choices in all areas is often a daunting task. Assembling ad-hoc teams for difficult decisions is an option, but bringing the right competencies together efficiently each time creates a lot of disruption in the company.

Management valkuil schema

Distributed leadership, better alignment and increased autonomy

Growth pains in a developing organization are inevitable. Necessary elements to deal with those pains and grow the business stably include: a strong culture, central documentation, proper alignment, collaborative mindset... Employees align by knowing what the vision and purpose of the organization are and when they know exactly what is expected toward execution.

To continue to grow as Dropsolid we focus on:


Distributed leadership

Employees are ready to take more responsibility in making decisions.


Increased autonomy

Giving teams more authority by giving directions rather than solutions.


Improve cross-team alignment

Share and document best practices through guilds, documentation...

Dropsolid engineering model

Why do we focus on these 3 points? By aligning firmly with our teams and giving them high autonomy, we build a strong organization together.

We were inspired in this setup by the Spotify Engineering Culture model.

Collaborative decision-making

At Dropsolid, we use concepts from software development and apply them more broadly in our company. Decisions are made by documenting them, announcing them, and if there is no objection internally, implementing them. We don't put this process in the hands of one expert; decisions are made and acted upon by the entire team.

We base this on ADRs or Architecture Decision Records. ADRs are a way to document architecture decisions and their reasoning. They provide a historical record of key decisions and help teams understand why a particular approach was taken. An ADR should be created by the team responsible for making the architecture decision.

Open source is in our DNA, and we carry the open source philosophy all the way through our company, not only on a technological level but also on how we work and in our culture. So now we are also adapting these principles in our decision-making: open, transparent, and supported by the team.

Besides, by working in a collaborative decision-making way, we don't create bottlenecks or funnels. We just make the whole thing stronger. At Dropsolid, for example, we already found that:

Seniority is rising and teams are becoming more self-directed.

As a result, more responsibility is taken, and there is more room to distribute ownership.

The way of working is more professional.

Thus, we have made great strides in defining procedures, workflows and systems. Future initiatives are known and being developed.

Account management improves.

We are closer to our clients than ever because we are able to create more value year after year and our clients meanwhile recognize our expertise.

By setting up our strategic boards, the teams receive strategic support from the company and in this way, the proper knowledge comes together. Everyone can give input, we implement innovations together and continuously improve our processes through boards and guilds.

strategic boards