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The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else – Eric Ries

As we embark on a new year, new goals are set. Startups are retrieving focus from the year passed and gaining momentum for big ambitions in 2017. The emphasis is on optimization, performance improvement, and continued growth. All strong measures for success, but without time on your side, the most important question we should ask ourselves is, What are we learning?

The process of learning, is what drives you competitively. The faster you adopt new knowledge and feed this into action, the easier you can evaluate progress. And so often in the mechanics of startup discovery, channeling new learnings can change your thought process for what’s ahead.

At Pollenizer, we ask ourselves this every morning and commit it to the wider team. It is the ultimate driver of action, and accountability. Forcing yourself to get into this habit changes how you prioritise and leads to focusing on the things that matter.

Whether you’re operating solely, on a small startup team, here’s some ways you can adopt this into your routine for the new year;

Be accountable

What are you working on today, that will assist you on your mission tomorrow and beyond. Make every moment count. Work on the things that matter and are more likely to drive the outcomes you require for growth. Stay committed to the process and measure the change.

Experiment & Implement

Operating in a state of uncertainty requires you to try something new. Experimenting drives a conversation and helps you communicate your thinking. The process of documenting, moves you closer to an answer. Once it’s clearer in your mind, implement on a small scale. Try again.


Shared learning consistently empowers collaboration and forces us to take responsibility for contribution to the business growth. Culturally this is a creative way to make new discoveries, unlock new opportunities and connect the people on your team. If you’re working solo, find a co-working space. Many co-working spaces operate on a community focused model that promotes this amongst their value system.

These are just small steps that contribute to your or your company becoming a learning organisation. Not only supporting growth, but gives you the fuel you need to survive. Without the right foundation in place, what I’ve described is possible, but it’s hard. Read how our COO, Clare Hallam operates her own experiments to drive cultural change. A consistent effort to learn, maintains a level of control that minimises risk and helps performance overall.

Nicola Farrell

Nicola Farrell

Partner, Education

Nicola is leading Pollenizer’s global education portfolio, developing managed learning programs for entrepreneurs and corporate partners. Operating at the epicentre of change, Nicola has led educational programs at scale, maximising reach and widening the net for those looking to adopt startup practices for their organisation.


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