The Split – How we are handling our growth challenging our culture

Article written by Christoffer Öberg, CEO at Mpya Digital.

The last five years have flown by, and Mpya Digital is not a small start-up anymore. If we are to stay true to who we are, we must take a leap in our development.

That’s why, we are making the biggest ever shift in the way we work.

We have called it The Split.

While it sounds like quite a drastic term, in reality it is about making sure every Mpyan continues to feel important and able to contribute to the success of the company.

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”We want to distribute leadership,
growth strategy
and business responsibility.”
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”We have always wanted all Mpyans to feel
a belonging and a shared responsibility
of the company and each other.”

We have made the collective decision to ‘Split’ Mpya Digital into two distinct business cells, each of which has a high level of autonomy, and can make key decisions independently of the wider company.

A couple of years ago, Mpya Digital was a company of 35 people. Even though Covid affected us all it felt like a sweet spot. We had a natural, comfortable balance between the dynamism of a start-up, and the stability of experience and success.  Our common engagement and “in it together” mindset made us sure we could overcome any obstacles.

As of today, we keep on growing. Sustained growth is amazing and something we all strive for. It is so natural to us, and important in too many ways to mention.

But it can still challenge our core values.

We have always wanted all Mpyans to feel a belonging and a shared responsibility of the company and each other. I think it has worked fantastically well. But as we grow it can be hard to maintain.

To me, we have reached a tipping point. Inevitably, as the company grows in size, each new employee means marginally less. Every new client assignment means marginally less, too. Not to the people directly involved, of course, but in the wider context of the organisation.

That’s not what we want. We want to keep the entrepreneurial feeling going, and we think the new business cells will help to capture it forever.

After The Split, two new business cells will both operate in that entrepreneurial sweet spot of 35-60 people. Each unit will have autonomy on key initiatives such as recruitment, roles, assignments, budget forecasts, and other business-orientated projects.

We want to distribute leadership, growth strategy, and business responsibility. This helps us spread risk and makes us less dependent on a single management team. Not only is this better for the company, it also creates career paths and promotes individuals in their development.

While we will all remain part of the overarching Mpya Digital organisation – and share the values we have worked so hard to instil – each business cell will have its own identity and be able to control its own destiny.

When we grow further, we will ‘Split’ again. No matter how big we get, we want every Mpyan to feel that they can contribute, feel valued, and play a truly important role in the success of the company.

That should always be the Mpya Digital way.

Christoffer Öberg