There's something intriguing about a startup.
It's not necessarily the office environment, which these days tend to have a lot of spaces for collaboration, graffiti-inspired murals and an abundance of healthy snacks. And it's not always about the unicorns -- those startups that have come up with a brilliant idea and achieve stratospheric valuations overnight.
What's intriguing about a startup is the culture and the philosophy that the truly innovative companies tend to embrace.
Whether your company is startup size or an enterprise that has always done things one way and is resistant to change, there are some great benefits to adopting a startup mentality.
International brands like Coca-Cola, MasterCard, General Electric and MetLife have started taking pages from nimble startups' playbooks and are encouraging innovation internally. Here are three elements to adopt to help your company do the same:
1. Embrace agility. Sometimes companies have one great tool in their toolbox that they use over and over again. Startups, on the other hand, have a Swiss Army Knife mentality, ready to jump on projects quickly in whatever way makes sense. Learn to pivot towards business needs in a way that's nimble and flexible. This hunger and passion to capture opportunities quickly is a true sign of the startup spirit. Where large companies get bogged down in processes and protocol and can lose opportunities due to delays, agility enables companies to not only be competitive, but often stay well ahead of their competitors.
2. Challenge the status quo. Startups aren't afraid to break the mold in terms of trying new ways to serve a client, or building a new technology or push innovation forward. They're willing to fail fast, disrupt the industry and try new things. Take the rise of FinTech startups across the country for example - finding ways to improve the customer experience, they have shaken up the financial industry and made traditional financial institutions rethink their approach. While they only account for about one per cent of consumer banking revenues in the U.S. and Europe, China has already passed the tipping point with FinTech companies possessing both innovation and scale, and investments in these companies continue to climb. With the new technology available today, it's time to start thinking beyond the comfortable and get into a startup mindset.
3. Innovation. Startups always embrace and cultivate a culture of innovation. This comes from a belief that a good idea can come from anywhere, so all employees are valued and empowered to innovate without the fear of making mistakes. It's this freedom to try new things that's pushes so many great ideas forward. Salesforce, for example, introduced an entirely new business model and helped its customers to rethink the way they ran their businesses. Seventeen years ago the idea of selling software as a cloud-based subscription service was unheard of. It was as disruptive as it was innovative, changing the way many companies work today.
One benefit larger companies have over startups is that they're able to use established resources to push their innovation forward. This, combined with a startup mentality, will give companies, regardless of size, a distinct competitive edge.
It's time for Goliath to take a lesson from David. Is your company willing to try?
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