Happy Startup School and Wild Things
> Taking a team through transition   

Helping the Happy Startup School get clear on their path to world domination.

  • Co-founders, company in transition, global community

  • Getting clear on purpose, strategy and roles

  • Team offsite followed by ongoing supervision and facilitation

The background

Until the middle of last year, the Happy Startup School was just a side project.

Founders Laurence and Carlos had birthed it out of their realisation that startup life had to be about more than profit.

They wanted to realise their own potential and live fulfilled lives through the journey of entrepreneurship.

So they started offering that help to others, and it naturally became their business.

And in August 2015, they made the decision to wind down their main business and go for it.

People love what they do - their events are described as life-changing, and their homeschool programme is being taken by people all over the world.

But transitioning from what you were into what you could become, takes time and care.

The space between states is often called the ‘liminal’ phase. It’s a place of uncertainty, where you’re figuring stuff out. It can feel difficult.

But it’s also a place of possibility and creativity, if you can find just enough clarity to feel grounded in the unknown.

What we're doing

Six months into their transition, the team needed to reconnect and get clear on how to move forwards - where they are going and how they’ll get there.

The starting point was coaching conversations with each team member. Asking:

  • Why are you here?
  • What do you need?
  • Where are you going? 

So they could be clear with themselves, and with the others in the team.

And with the vision holder, getting him very clear on the why and what of the team’s purpose.

Taking the whole team out to Lewes (home of radical thinking and alternative ideas), we spent the day:

  • Reconnecting to purpose: by going back to the source of the initiative and talking it out.
  • Reconnecting the team: by hearing each other’s needs and ambitions for the future. 
  • Creating focus: by agreeing how to focus time and energy over the next few months

We did all this practicing open and honest conversations, facilitated to keep attention on the things that really mattered.

Following this initial work together, we've been continuing to work with the co-founders, facilitating their monthly meeting to review the big strategic issues.

The purpose of the conversations are not just to make sure they're paying attention to the things that matter, but to make sure they're having the conversations that matter too.

While they're still managing their team and community through this liminal space, it's critical that they're able to maintain openness, honesty and have challenging discussions.   

"I found it particularly difficult moving from a well defined role and known business model to a position of greater possibilities but more uncertainty. Working with Max has helped me become comfortable with being uncomfortable and has also given the "space" to voice my concerns and fears." 
"The key to this work isn't so much about discovering business insights but more about uncovering my real drivers and hidden blockages. Dealing with this means tackling the business challenge becomes less effortful."
- Carlos Saba, Co-founder, Happy Startup School.
"Since our initial session with Wild Things we've found a renewed sense of clarity both as a team and individuals. Max's real skill is in creating a safe space for the conversations that matter and this has been invaluable for us during a period of adjustment and uncertainty."
"He's helped us to develop better habits as a team to ensure information flows more freely and continues to challenge us to be true to our purpose in everything we do. We're coming out of this period with a much clearer picture of the mission we're on at The Happy Startup School and our roles within it."
- Laurence McCahill, Co-founder, Happy Startup School