Tim Lennox, managing director of digital entertainment at Sainsbury's, spoke at Internet World 2014 about how to keep your small team advantage going even within a larger organisation.
Here are the highlights of his keynote.
When you have a small team, you can't have dedicated roles restricted to one person. Everyone has to pitch in with every task. You have to be one team, not different departments.
The most important thing is to have a no-blame culture. You have to deal with problems and learn from them, not place blame on people and seek to punish mistakes.
So long as you're doing something for the first time, innovation is bound to occur. A small team has to look at doing things differently. Small teams also have fewer distractions. There are fewer interactions with other departments and fewer meetings.
You have to run a small team like a lab. Experiment on low risk projects that have a quick, cost-effective delivery, and use them to add real value to your larger business. You can trial things in a small team that can then be applied to the wider business.
The key difference is your agility and ability to adapt. If we had told everyone they had to wear suits, or start the morning at exactly 9am, we would have lost a lot of key talent. Both the team leaders and the organisation have to have a lot of trust to make this work, but the gains in productivity are worth it.
At Internet World 2014, thousands of IT, technology and digital marketing professionals are discovering cutting-edge technology innovations and strategies to drive their organisation's success.