Growing the Largest Businesses at Startup Speed
Startup teams are intensely driven by their scarcity of time and resources before their cash runway evaporates. So they are forced to operate in environments of extreme uncertainty, risk and decision making in the absence of all of the facts. This scarcity leads startup teams to be scrappy, but fast and adaptable.
Adaptability comes from multi-talented ‘t-shaped’ founders who have broad general functional abilities, and one or two deep specialisations. This cross-functional nature allows them to tackle a wide ranging variety of projects, or to hold many job functions at the same time, essential when creating new ventures in the face of uncertainty.
The biggest lesson corporates can take from startup operating models is that to function in an increasingly volatile business environment faced with an imperative to innovate, they need to embrace different models to work with uncertainty and early-stage risk.
of the S&P 500 will be replaced over the next 10 years
Inc. – March 2016
Why it Matters
In traditional management models ‘failure is not an option’, whereas the entrepreneur embraces failure as a necessary path to learning and success. This entrepreneurship mindset is the missing link in most large corporates embarking upon innovation programmes.
There may be lots of innovation to be had and plentiful ideas, but without the management process to support this style of execution and business model discovery, in- novation efforts will be wasted.
How we do it
We work with our clients to embed innovation as an organisational instinct. This ability to continuously experiment at low cost and low risk. We help build entrepreneurial mindsets, and integrate innovation into strategy, planning, resource allocation, service development and culture.
Innovation is a learned organizational capability. You must train people how to innovate and navigate organizational barriers that kill off good ideas before they can be tested.
― Kaihan Krippendorff
What we think
No matter where you work and what framework they use to define the structure and responsibilities of people, there will be tension between people. The way we create boundaries around authority and what people/roles are responsible for can help resolve or at least relieve these tensions.