Surviving the transition from start-up to grown-up

In his regular blog, Milestone’s President & CEO Lars Thinggaard, gives his advice on how to make a successful transition from a start-up company to a professionally managed company.


“Most teenagers are reckless and dare venture into unknown territory – the same goes for most start-up companies. But how do you remain bold and innovative, once you’re all grown-up and stuck in your ways?”. Lars Thinggaard has been part of Milestone Systems since its earliest day and explains how Milestone Systems has maintained its entrepreneurial spirit to this day. According to Lars, one of the first challenges that need to be addressed is creating clarity of management roles. Often a manager engages in different roles, which can make it difficult to see the company as a whole. “When a start-up reaches this part of the transition phase, a crucial decision needs to be made: “Where is the company headed now, what is our offering to the market, how do we differentiate from our competitors, and what defines our company culture?”

According to Lars, it all comes down to trust and the ability and courage to confront dysfunctionalities within the management team. However, once trust is in place, both management and employees will be more inclined to admit their weak spots and become open to feedback.

“No one is born a leader, you become a leader, but only if you’re capable of showing the right behavior based on the right intentions. Leadership in a start-up company will change as the company grows […] surviving the transition from start-up to a professionally managed organization is a complex process and to maintain recklessness and boldness is even harder -  but it’s doable.”

Retrieved from Ugebrevet Mandag Morgen. Read the full blog in Danish here.