The answers to these questions are the tip of the iceberg of coaching. This iceberg also has a submerged part which refers to the quality of the management carried out to accompany well. It is this quality of management that will give a real and tangible value to the answers given to the questions.
The quality of management is made up of 3 elements (submerged because they are invisible a priori) that the person in charge of the incubator or accelerator must be able to handle with skill. These are complexity, ambiguity and relative advantage.
In the book « Innovation Ouverte, l’incubateur corporate » (Pascal Latouche, ISTE, 2018, Wyley, 2019), based on my many observations (4 years), I take the time to dissect « complexity », « ambiguity » and « relative advantages » before qualifying them and showing their influence on the « tasks », the « structure », the « actors » and the « tools » implemented in the support. For those who followed the reasoning, I showed how the submerged part of the iceberg (complexity, ambiguity, relative advantages) influences the emergent part of the iceberg (tasks, structure, actors, tools).
For the purposes of this article, I think readers won’t mind me going straight to the results. To implement an efficient management of his device, the manager of an incubator / accelerator of start-up will have to manipulate:
- the « irrational » complexity (understanding of the system, relationship with the start-up) and “rational” complexity (resources),
- he relative advantages (top management involvement; autonomy; communication “flagship” posture; start-up focus; and finally, malleability),
- functional ambiguity (width, depth, nature of functions performed).
It is through the manipulation of these three elements (often unknown) that the person in charge of the incubator/accelerator will be able to keep the commitments to the start-up, and this, in real time. It is a permanent adaptation process of the support system so that the answers initially brought to the start-ups are translated into the real world.
Start-up support is definitely not a work of improvisation. It is up to the start-up to make sure that their projects are respected… in their personal and professional life…