Is Your Startup Using the STUN Method? Think Twice Before You Do.
There is a theory of agriculture and farming called STUN. It means Sheer, Total, Utter Neglect. Essentially farmers spend less time cultivating the environment and finding good candidates for the surroundings and more time just throwing out a variety of seeds and seedlings and animals and reaping what does grow and what does survive. A fully operational STUN property includes an ecosystem of plants, dairy, fowl, pig and other animals and everyone works together to nurture what IS growing.
In Mark’s video below it looks like a dog, a couple cats, some cows and a few chickens. Then they plant some trees and let the grass grow, hoping it would take off.
Mark Shepard and STUN Management
Mark Shepard explains STUN farming and even wrote a management book based on this theory:
I have spent a lot of my career thinking about whether resources are right for their environment and if they will prosper. Happy Job = Happy Bob. Sometimes when we get caught up in a corporation, we forget that we still have options inside that organization, to improve our day-to-day lives, our direct income or our state of mind.
But, as readers, I bet you can relate to many of the experiences I have had where the Ready? Fire! Aim. orders are being given and optimizing your business processes is a challenge. If you’ve been in an organization when STUN tactics are being used, say, the boss is is desperate for new ideas and he asks you to complete something in 2 days. Your project will suffer in value because you won’t have time to validate your research and theories. And after a few cycles of this, your morale will begin to suffer too, and this is hard to recover.
Instead of this, I suggest:
Dig deep into old issues and be sure nothing remains in the soil you’re building your new company in. Chips on shoulders. Underlying resentment. Keep communications open. It’s your job as a manager of a leader of a company to remove obstacles whenever possible for your team, and some of those obstacles may be emotional or political in nature…
My advice is to trust the employees you’ve hired. They see the holes in the organization at their level and they have a network of peers who have them tuned into the lastest and greatest tools and resources. Respect them and foster a relationship that encourages participation from your team. If after putting your existing team in their dream jobs, you will have skills that need filling, it’s time to hire. Fertilize with confidence building reassurance, a clear set of responsibilities and a performance review schedule.
People thrive and things grow best when they are in the most optimal environment surrounded by positivity and a bounty of resources. Individuals must cultivate their own learning and bosses must cultivate their rising stars to be stronger, happier, more adept and more valuable professionals. And a CEO must be sure that they are cultivating and that all three are happening.