Startup Lessons: Teamwork Examples from Global Giants

It’s no surprise that the majority of successful startups are built by teams. Here are 5 teamwork and collaboration examples startups should learn from global organizations like Google, Tesla and many more. Some examples of teamwork and collaboration are sure to inspire your own startup.

5 Teamwork And Collaboration Examples Startups Should Learn From Global Organizations

It’s no surprise that the majority of successful startups are built by teams.

This is because a team has the potential to complete tasks in less time, with higher quality and at a lower cost than an individual working alone. But even though most startup founders know they need a team, many struggle to get the most out of their team members.

While many startups may spend a great deal of time on their core product, they don't always devote enough time to team building and collaboration, which is crucial to the success and longevity of any business.

They’re young, and have a tendency to come with some growing pains. One of the most common growing pains is that they lack big-business experience. This means they don’t have the same level of teamwork, collaboration and communication skills as large corporations do.

What Can Startups Learn From Big Giants Like Google, Tesla...?

The answer: a lot!

Startups are founded on one simple principle: to change the world. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in every startup, but when it comes to team and collaboration, there's lots of room for improvement.

This is why startups should learn strong teamwork skills and a collaborative mindset from large organizations. Not only can it help you build a more successful company faster, but it can also make your employees happier and more productive in the process.

Successful companies like Tesla, and Google are prime examples of what happens when teamwork and collaboration come together. Each company has dedicated resources to its employee training programs, innovation and cross functional collaboration which have helped them develop their employees' skill sets and enabled them to work more collaboratively.

5 Teamwork And Collaboration Lessons You Can Learn From Global Organizations

Let’s look at some examples of teamwork and collaboration that can inspire your own startup:

1. Employee First Culture From ‘Google’

Google culture is arguably the most innovative in the world. Their approach to collaboration has been very successful and, despite their confidence in the intelligence of their employees, they understand that collaboration is important for creativity and for keeping up with market trends. Google’s “employee first” culture ensures that all employees are valued and included in company decisions. This allows them to make decisions based on what employees want.

Collaboration at Google starts with their open office spaces, which encourage communication and teamwork among those working on different projects, thus promoting cross-collaboration between different teams within a given department or across departments. Also, Googlers are encouraged (indeed expected) to spend 20% or more of their time working on a project of their own choosing that they feel will benefit the company as a whole – an idea many other companies have implemented as well.

What can startups learn?

Startups should focus on building a strong team and culture. And employees should be valued and included in company’s decisions. This will foster communication, team bonding and collaboration among employees and thereby maximize productivity. 

You may like: 9 Employee Engagement Strategies You Can Implement Today!

2. Autonomy For Individual Employees From ‘Virgin’ 

Virgin is a fast-moving, innovative enterprise that has created a unique corporate culture. Founded and headed by Richard Branson, Virgin has been a major player in the airline, travel and telecommunications industries for the past three decades.

Branson attributes his company’s success to its appeal to customers rather than investors. His leadership style is hands-off and encourages autonomy for individual employees. This has contributed to Virgin’s ability to innovate quickly and stay ahead of the game.

What can startups learn?

Startup leaders need to create an atmosphere of empowerment where employees feel comfortable taking initiative and making decisions without being micromanaged every step of the way.

3. Promoting Competitive Spirits Among Employees From ‘General Motors’ (GM)

General Motors, the world’s largest automotive manufacturer, says it has a "friendly war" going on between its engineering and design departments. The goal is to get cross-functional collaboration happening in the company.

Designers try to make their cars look more futuristic than those of other car companies, while engineers are striving to make them more functional. This results in groundbreaking products like the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac Converj vehicles.

What can startups learn?

Collaborative efforts can help employees feel connected to their peers and management despite being in various locations. Not only does it encourage healthy competition and productivity, but it also plays a huge role in the overall growth of an organization. 

4.Encouraging Employees Passion From ‘Tesla’ 

Tesla's co-founder and CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly spoken about the importance of teamwork in achieving both short-term and long-term goals. In this company, employees are encouraged to take on roles that they feel passionate about in order to increase engagement among team members. The company's approach focuses on collaboration and cross-functional teams and creates multidisciplinary teams with top talent in all areas of production, rather than having individual experts that collaborate on specific components. 

For example, Tesla — has a diverse workforce in place to better serve its customers. At first glance, you might not expect skilled engineers to be experts in marketing or customer support, but since they're so passionate about the company they work for, they're more than willing to step outside their comfort zone and make themselves useful wherever needed.

"We're trying to create a company where people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working," said Musk, founder of Tesla

What can startups learn?

You can’t expect great things from your team if you don’t know where you’re headed. Take some time to understand your company’s long-term goals, then share them with your team members so they can get onboard as well. Your vision should be something that everyone can work towards together and that encourages collaboration at every stage of its development.

Must read : Strategies for Achieving Management and Leadership Success

5. Experimentation From ‘LEGO’

The company has been around for more than 80 years and is still growing strong — but what's its secret?

Lego is the epitome of a successful global organization that has encouraged teamwork and collaboration since its inception. The Lego factory system was founded on the principle that the right people, given the right tools and environment, could manufacture their own work. In other words, there was no need for a supervisor to meddle with or oversee every aspect of production.

Lego gives its employees the freedom to experiment with new ideas within their teams. In order to keep its corporate culture one that encourages experimentation, LEGO instituted a "failure bonus" at its Denmark headquarters in 2007. The company gives employees a small amount of extra money every year that they can use to fund a project or idea they believe is important to the company's success, even if it doesn't work out as planned.

What can startups learn?

Startups should also encourage an experimentation mindset among teams to come up with new ways of working together and developing projects. In this way, you can see an increase in employees’ creative output, innovation and ultimately help in the company's growth.


It's time startups should rethink their company management strategies. Teamwork and collaboration is not an option but a must have. 

The above examples are not limited to only particular companies or niche but can be used by any company irrespective of the number of their employees and industry they work in. So if you are thinking about amending your business strategy by improving teamwork, hopefully these examples will help you. But you must remember teamwork can’t happen overnight and it is always a work in progress.

Bonus: Making regular team building activities part of your work culture is one of the greatest ways to promote collaboration and teamwork. Partner with us to unleash the fullest potential of your team with the help of fun and engaging experiences 

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