Once you’ve embarked on your entrepreneurial path, it can be challenging to keep your beginner’s fresh eyes. The founder’s life can consume you—speaking from personal experience as well as witnessing many founders’ immersion. It’s easy to lose your fresh eyes and perspective; it easy not to realize how imbalanced, how skewed, or how dysfunctional your venture has become. Don’t get me wrong; every venture has its own imperfections and dysfunction, as well as its own strengths. But when you’ve lost perspective, it’s much harder to solve a challenge or a crisis with clarity, with lucidity, with calmness.
One of the exercises that I’ve created for founders who needed to obtain some perspective includes applying principles of architectural design to their venture.
First, what are the principles of architectural design? They include:
Architects and engineers apply these design principles to environments and products. You may also apply them to your venture. Ask yourself the following questions.
Is there an effort to create balance in my venture?”
• Am I juggling for balance among work, home and personal time? Are my team members juggling for balance as well? Or are we all working crazy hours, eating badly, and not making time for fitness, for recharge?
• Am I juggling for balance between internal and external stakeholders? Or is it skewed one way completely?
• Am I giving too much advice and criticism, and not listening enough to suggestions and recommendations?
In architectural design, proportion refers to size, space, and scale.
• If you were to visualize your venture as a physical entity, what operational components would you assign to various allocated spaces? What is disproportionate and should be recalibrated?
Visual rhythm can be the flow of lines, colors, patterns, and / or texture.
• Viewing your venture as a visual movement through space, is there steady rhythm instead of spurts of start and stop? Given the current state of your venture, does it need steady rhythm or a spike?
Each design has a focal point that attracts the viewer’s attention.
• Does your venture have a focal point?
• If it does, what your venture’s current focal point and is it appropriately placed?
All the design principles should come together to achieve unity and harmony.
• Are all the components in your venture working in concert?
• Do you see coherence and cohesion?
• If not, what is missing and what can be done to move forward?
This exercise may not provide THE solution to your current challenge, but it should help you to step out of your founder’s shoes, view your venture from a different framework, stimulate your grey cells into action, and help you devise an appropriate solution.
© 2014-2015 My-Tien Vo