Edith Elliott is the co-founder and CEO of Noora Health, a nonprofit that unleashes the potential of patients and their family members by training them with skills to tremendously improve clinical outcomes, provide care and save lives. Today she tells us about her experience as one of four co-founders. Four co-founders. That’s double, if not quadruple, the industry standard and co-founding a company isn’t seen as a “more-the merrier” situation. Edith tells us about the tools and tactics that her leadership team has used to build a healthy and trusting founder relationship.
On this episode, you’ll learn:
- Why co-founder conflict is one of biggest reasons for start-up failure and how to build trust early
- Get personal and build trust. Healthy co-founder relationships begin with empathy, and sharing things about meaningful areas of your life to forge a path for trust and respect. Invest time in your relationships!
- Know when to budge. Flexibility is a necessary trait, especially for colleagues like co-founders who have equal weigh-ins. Remember to be user-centric. And trust that your co-founders are putting the user first as well.
- Do you have a united vision for the company? How do you uncover underlying expectations and have open conversations?
- See the resources below for some of the exercises that Edith talks about. Want to invest in the relationships in your team? Try “I like, I wish”
- Having a diverse co-founder team is a good thing, but it could also be a potential source of friction unless you learn to trust each other’s skill sets
- We learn the key to how Edith and her team maintain a positive and productive relationship with one another
- It is important to have good relationships while prioritizing what is best for the organization. At the end of the day, it is a business.
- Acknowledge communication breakdowns early – don’t let them fester. Nip it in the bud! Helps to create a culture of transparency.
- Make time for each other outside of the office. A co-founder relationship is a relationship like any other, and dedicating focused time paves the way for great collaboration.
Links to resources:
- Noora Health
- Stanford d.school
- Exercise #1: “I Like, I Wish, What if”
- Exercise #2: Non-Violent Communication
- Stanford d.school – More resources
- Creating a Starfish: lessons learned from starting an organization with 4 co-founders
- Edith Elliott: “Healthcare Is an Essential Human Right”
Connect with Edith
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