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The Dialectica Way: 6 “hacks” to achieve long-term agility in a fast-growing startup



August 5, 2021

According to research, even before we’d witnessed the impact of COVID-19, 9 out of 10 startups and unicorns failed to reach their next level of growth and 20% went out of business within their first year of operations. Any company — and startups especially — can get stuck on their journey to growth for multiple reasons; these can have to do with the market needs, the leadership’s ability to work on and implement a clear strategy, the alignment of the team and so much more.

Our six-year story and dynamic growth during the pandemic has taught us something really important: in order to be prepared for any contingencies and thrive, we should keep an agile mindset at all times. It’s easier said than done but based on our experience in hiring over 200 people across our offices over the last year and a half and having built an international team of almost 400 individuals, the following “hacks” have significantly contributed to our agility in rapidly scaling the business.

1. Smart Hiring!

At Dialectica we don’t simply hire employees. We recruit the right talent for each position within our organization. To do so, we are not solely looking for candidates with the best skills. We are also investing in people that fit with our culture — the individuals that during our hiring process have shown us that they have the passion to succeed, the can-do attitude to become true leaders and the willingness to continuously grow in order to unlock their full potential. Our talent is our no.1 competitive advantage because each person can contribute with their own unique characteristics, mindset and skills to building a truly world-class organization.

2. A Strong Culture Code

Our values are our guiding light, even in times of change and growth, our dedication to our culture code remains constant. In any organization, the leadership team should be the first to live the organizational culture and then clearly shape it, sustain it and communicate it to everyone within the business. However, it is equally important for employees to believe in the same set of principles and for the company to continuously reinforce them. We stand by our core values of quality, caring, teamwork, ownership, leadership, transparency and constant improvement, as they define who we are, where we’re going and how we’re getting there.

3. Focused and Effective Teams

We are working with top-tier consultancies, world-class private equity companies and venture capitals as well as end-clients and organizations of any size, market and form and we are servicing them globally. In order to ensure an excellent experience for our clients as well as the experts we are connecting them to, we make sure to keep our teams small and to assign a dedicated team member or specific group of people as a single point of contact for their account. By structuring your organization into smaller teams of people you are also enabling efficient and effective management, better communication and fast decision making.

4. Growing and Succeeding Together

The majority of our Client Service leadership team consists of people who joined Dialectica at the very beginning of its journey and grew along with us from Associate members of our Client Service team to the company’s Vice Presidents. Internal mobility and growth are proven to increase motivation and help with retention. As a business, we have also benefited from maintaining our investment in people skills and business knowledge, as our staff gains greater work experience and understanding of our clients’ needs over time and a real sense of Dialectica, its vision and its structure. At the same time, we hire the best talent for our corporate functions, people with international experience in different types of organizations that lead our journey to growth.

5. Learning from our Failures

One of the key characteristics of our agile mindset is that we embrace the trial-and-error approach. We are taking risks and even if we fail, we learn from our mistakes and adapt. As true leaders do, we are turning our problems into opportunities and giving our team the flexibility and freedom to assess and improve how we do things. We are a business that believes in progression, rather than perfection. We aim to cultivate learning agility and enable our people to identify the most important lesson in each mistake and connect it to the right context in the next project.

6. Powered by Tech and Innovation

In today’s digital world, technology helps businesses respond to transformation while staying agile. Innovation powers everything we do at Dialectica, from communicating with clients and finding the most relevant expert profiles in just a few minutes to indexing and categorizing data every day. Technology-enabled our smooth transition to remote working and staying digitally connected with our colleagues, when we needed it the most. As an organization, we heavily invest in technology to enable growth, efficiency, and innovation within our industry.

Having a clear strategy and an open culture. Investing in top talent and the future of our people as well as technology. Learning from our mistakes and growing together as one international team. This is how we’re staying agile here at Dialectica and how we managed to almost double our international workforce during one of the most challenging times for the global market. For the years to come and as we become even bigger and evolve, our aim is to stay true to what makes us Dialectica, while we keep evaluating what works and what we need to become better with the aim to stay on the same page with our ecosystem of people, clients and experts and create change with and for them.

If you are you looking for startup career opportunities in Athens, full time jobs in Montreal and Vancouver or you are a job seeker in London, explore our career opportunities here.

Are you a new or recent university graduate? Our Client Service team is hiring for 40+ entry level, English-speaking jobs per month!

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