The Cannon has opened a new location — and expanded north of Houston for the first time. Photo courtesy of The Cannon

Calling all coworkers north of Houston — there's a new spot in town to set up shop.

The Cannon, a coworking company with locations in Houston and Galveston, has expanded north of Houston for the first time. A new Cannon workspace opened at The Park at Fish Creek retail center (618 Fish Creek Thoroughfare) in Montgomery last month. On February 1 at 4 pm, the new community is holding an open house to tour the space.

“The Cannon is a Houston innovation institution, and we meet demand where innovators and entrepreneurs live—in this case, Montgomery County,” says Jon Lambert, CEO of The Cannon, in a news release. “The goal is to grow The Cannon community – and entrepreneurship overall – regionally, via the Fish Creek brick-and mortar space, and to also expand utilization of our digital community platform, Cannon Connect.”

With 8,100 square feet of space, the facility has 19 private offices, three conference rooms, and several gathering and working areas. Memberships — from assigned desks and private space to day passes — are now available. All Fish Creek members receive access to Cannon Connect, a global, digital community platform that provides resources, networking and building blocks for business growth.

Photo courtesy of The Cannon

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Houston innovation hub restructures, pulls in more Rice resources

cha-cha-changes

Rice University is leaning in on the Ion by restructuring the innovation hub's team and increasing the university's presence at the hub.

Paul Cherukuri, vice president for innovation, tells InnovationMap that the changes being made at the Ion — Rice's Midtown innovation hub — are a reflection of Rice President Reginald DesRoches's vision for the hub and for the university as a leader of innovation.

"We're embracing the community even further by what we've done with this restructuring," Cherukuri says. "The restructuring is really a result of Reggie's vision of us wanting to move forward with helping the community to grow innovation across Houston, throughout Texas, if not the world."

He adds that the university is "putting resources from Rice Alliance and amping up what's happening at the Ion."

Earlier this month, Rice announced that Brad Burke, executive director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, has been named associate vice president for industry and new ventures reporting to Cherukuri's Office of Innovation.

Cherukuri confirms that the Rice Alliance will take over programming at the Ion, and that he too will have an increased presence at the hub. The restructuring includes elimination of positions at the Ion; however, Rice declined to comment on matters of personnel.

"We have members of the Ion staff who are going to be integrated to the Rice Alliance," Cherukuri says. "The direction of this is really so that we can no longer stay behind the hedges and do more for the Houston community."

Cherukuri says the university has already made a concerted effort on this, and soon will deliver on the Rice Nexus, a hub within the Ion for showcasing and connecting Rice innovation. Additionally, Rice announced last month that it's partnering with Woodside Energy, which committed $12.5 million over the next five years to create the Woodside Rice Decarbonization Accelerator.

Last year, Cherukuri joined the Houston Innovators Podcast to expound upon his vision for the Ion in his role as the inaugural vice president for innovation, which he was named to in 2022.


How to prevent micromanaging at your Houston startup, small biz

guest column

A manager’s job is to coach their teams and create opportunities for them to succeed. Yet, as managers rise through the ranks, they are not always trained in how to delegate, trust their teams and let the little things go. If managers lack these skills, their micromanaging can quickly lead to an unhappy work environment and increase employee turnover.

A team can become even more successful when managers do not try to control and monitor everything. Instead of getting caught up in the project’s minutia, managers should focus on the bigger picture. The best approach is to delegate tasks and trust the team to complete their assignments, without interfering with the direct work.

Startups and small businesses are full of people with an entrepreneurial mindset who love to roll up their sleeves and get to work, no matter their job description. Just like frontline managers, founders and leaders need to be mindful not to become micromanagers, by giving their teams both the guidance and autonomy to make the business a success.

To prevent micromanagers from taking root in the organization, follow these tips.

Identify the micromanager

Micromanagement is not always easy for founders to detect. However, recognizing and understanding micromanagement is paramount to well-functioning teams and businesses.

When looking for signs of a micromanager, start by searching for managers who tend not to delegate and, if work is delegated, take over from their teams again and again, even after only a simple and harmless mistake. As a result, most of their time is spent overseeing others, while failing to progress on their own work. This can lead managers to lose focus on larger projects and strategy, unable to see how their daily tasks relate to the larger goals of the organization. Additionally, micromanagers request frequent updates and often find deliverables unsatisfactory.

As leaders, it is important to know the signs of micromanagement in order to prevent employee work dissatisfaction and high turnover, which is detrimental to a small business. The culture of a brand-new startup encourages everyone to do everything, which is exciting and rewarding. Managers may grow accustomed to being deeply ingrained in their employees’ day-to-day work. That said, as business scales and becomes more successful, teams expand, and micromanagement is no longer a sustainable management style.

Establish a process

Implementing a formalized process or workflow can help those who tend to micromanage track team projects. Since some use micromanagement to feel in control of a larger project, a project management system or software can help them focus on the higher-level strategy. When the company has a specific method for recording common tasks, they reduce the risk that managers will check-in too often while still lending structure to the overall projects. Beyond helping micromanagers, project management systems help everyone stay on track and communicate at every step in the process. This can increase self-management and efficiency within the organization.

Provide training

Leadership training provides the tools to improve team management and discuss the company’s expectations of managers, which can prove helpful, no matter the leader’s tenure. Management training often highlights a manager’s current leadership style, encourages self-reflection on their strengths and weaknesses, and provides the tools for growth.

Oftentimes, micromanagers are perfectionists and need to simply set their expectations with team members. These expectations can include preferred communication methods and frequency, how to ensure clarity of the tasks, workflow/project management and alerts surrounding urgent updates/mistakes. Once a manager knows their own expectations and communicates them with the team, they establish a better working environment.

Set objectives and key results

Savvy business leaders know micromanagers want to control the end goal. Setting objectives and key results (OKRs), which are actionable, quantifiable, have a deadline and ambitious, allows managers to practice control by meeting the objectives without feeling the need to control every aspect of the project. OKRs encourage managers to focus on big, impactful objectives that can be accomplished in a set amount of time.

Once the OKRs are set, regular, once a week meetings can give everyone the chance to present their progress and give group feedback on the OKRs. Management is also likelier to look at the bigger picture and allow their teams to thrive independently.

Bottom line

Teams need managers, but they need managers who provide guidance and give them the space to thrive. Addressing micromanagement does not mean managers should eliminate one-on-one check-ins or knowing a few of a project’s details. It does mean managers should trust team members to do their jobs. Mutual trust works wonders for workplace culture and a small business’s retention efforts.

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Jill Chapman is a director of early talent programs with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions.