How lean, agile working is preparing Hyphen for long-term success.


Staying lean while scaling up is a welcome challenge that faces almost all successful startups. Expansion is a positive step but it must be managed carefully so as not to take an organisation too far from its roots. 

At Hyphen, we firmly believe in cross-functional teams and this applies to ourselves as much as how we approach working with clients. We have grown considerably in the last 12 months, making it doubly important that we retain and further build our company culture to stay agile and react quickly to opportunities. 

Here, we will look at what we are doing to ensure Hyphen continues to grow in a manner that is sustainable. 

  • It’s good to talk

Communication is key to properly integrating any team member. Giving everyone a chance to provide feedback and learn from others creates an inclusive atmosphere and breeds ideas. That is why we take time away from our day-to-day activities to come together as a group, reflect and bond on a regular basis. 

Every two weeks, we hold a ‘retro session’ looking back at what we have achieved over that timeframe. Our quarterly co-working retreats are also hugely beneficial to building synergies and team chemistry. These discussions are important to ensuring everyone is adhering to the same principles. 

  • Utilise the power of tech

As a remote-first company, we have brought in talent from all over the world, not letting geography dictate our approach. Our A-team’s collection of different mindsets and skills means we can try things quickly and tackle problems immediately. 

Technology, however, is crucial when it comes to maximising the potential of cross-functional groups. It enables us to move away from laborious manual work and focus instead on high-value activities. By developing new resources tailored to our needs, Hyphen is able to plan in the present and think ahead to the future, maximising value.  

  • Acing alignment

Every department is responsible for a different aspect of operations while expansion can breed specialisation. This does not, however, mean people should be totally shackled to one area. 

Aligning goals is important to ensure a smooth workflow throughout the organisation. Everyone – from founders to associates – follows our process map, which ensures there is accountability and also shares knowledge of how different departments operate. By having this easy-to-access, visual workflow chart, anyone is able to spot possible challenges and opportunities. 

  • A school of thought?

Knowledge of agile practices is particularly helpful in an organisation like Hyphen where efficiency, quick thinking and adaptability are all essential. 

We are therefore considering educating new starters unfamiliar with these techniques. This can help these recruits understand how to function most effectively within our system. It also means that even as Hyphen continues to grow, our A-team will retain the mental sharpness that comes with working in an organisation with a lean startup culture.