Klarna, Europe’s most valuable private finance startup at $5.5 billion, has taken radical steps to improve its internal working processes in recent years as it gears up to take on companies like PayPal.
The company struggled to complete some key tasks and projects under previous working conditions but found a novel way of getting jobs done through eight person teams and single goals.
The startup applied the new processes to its marketing department and has now rolled the “small team, individual project” strategy across the whole company with impressive results.
The startup likened its new, focused approach to Amazon’s two-pizza theory, where Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos keeps team meetings focused by only permitting a small number of attendees.
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Scaling a successful company sometimes requires bold decisions.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the CEO and cofounder of Europe’s most valuable private fintech firm, Klarna. It’s a Paypal competitor that processes payments online, and hit a $5.5 billion valuation in August after a $460 million funding round.
Siemiatkowski could, perhaps, afford to rest on his laurels but says he’s always looking for ways to improve Klarna’s efficiency.
In an interview with Business Insider at Slush in Helsinki, he recalled watching a movie about Swedish tennis icon Bjorn Borg who as a child is told by a coach that he will succeed because winning is life or death for him. “I watched this scene and I thought ‘Jesus that’s me!'”
“I am mature enough today to realise that I will not necessarily be happier if the company is more successful but every day I wake up and that’s my thought. So I need to continuously learn, I think ‘What could I have done differently to produce a different outcome?'”
Klarna overhauled its operations in 2019 after finding a bottleneck in its marketing team
Research conducted by Harvard Business School, published in the Harvard Business Review, indicates that CEOs should spend a large proportion of their time on strategy and aligning that strategy with, and shaping, company culture.
To that effect, Klarna undertook a radical overhaul of its operations around 18 months ago to help achieve one of the company’s goals.
Namely, to complete a sales presentation that had been knocking around the marketing team almost two years. The company brought in external consultants McKinsey to evaluate why the team was having such trouble executing.
The result was a complete switcharound in structure. Klarna formed 8-person …read more
Source:: Business Insider