Why Large Firms Should Adopt A 'Start-up Mindset'

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 04, 2015


Today every industry is experiencing some level of disruption due to new contenders and innovators. CIOs of big companies are scrambling to transform and remodel their businesses, by several means such as corporate acquisitions, restructuring and a new focus on innovation among other things. Based on this assumption, a new research based on an online survey of more than 250 enterprise business leaders and innovators across North America, Europe and Asia shows in the age of disruption is impacting how companies can adopt a start-up mentality to emerge successful.

The survey demonstrates that market disruption is there in virtually every industry and market sector. Ninety-eight percent of all survey participants believe traditional markets are being disrupted by new category contenders. Respondents also indicate that these new start-up innovators, and the faster pace of innovation is bringing significant new value to customers, such as direct-to-customer business models that are data-driven, convenient, efficient and more personal. 

While this can be good news to the customers, who can take advantage of lower prices, greater choices and more flexibility in their buying decisions, for organizations it is challenging and likewise for CIOs who are expected to be change agents.

As a result, new contenders and technologies in the digital economy are forcing many large organizations out of their comfort zones. They must now think in new ways, putting the customer first in all strategic initiatives, more like startups. However, over half of survey respondents (57 percent) said they believe large organizations are too resistant to the changes needed.

This new buzz around the start-up mentality is getting a lot of attention lately, believe researchers of the report, which they believe will be a differentiator for companies that succeed with digital transformation.

To undergo this transformation, the study points out CIOs should focus on how can businesses be more adept at anticipating, predicting and understanding where they might be disrupted or challenged by the new, more aggressive, younger, more robust upstarts – and how do they themselves start embracing practices for becoming far more competitive and far more agile.

By looking at the existing infrastructure and then the potential acquisitions and investments to become more change-oriented, more change-receptive, and more change-minded often help businesses develop this mindset.

Companies are increasingly seeing the value in building up and empowering innovation teams that can help drive transformation across the enterprise. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents felt that building innovation teams that can help integrate innovation processes into the overall business strategy is of upmost importance. With that, it is vital to recruit, empower, and promote the change agents that can help drive that transformation, according to 40 percent of respondents. And 34 percent are looking outside, pointing to investing in and working with promising start-ups and new ventures in order to remain competitive.

Greater willingness to take risks (79 percent) greater ambition (63 percent) A more passionate desire to change the industry (59 percent) More flexibility in pursuing market opportunities (cited by 54 percent of respondents)

“Most large organizations shy away from being on the bleeding edge and tend to be the later adopters, not the early adopters,” BPI Executive Director Donovan Neale-May noted in his blog. “Our observations were that companies that put together some type of productive system for evaluating new technology and testing and piloting and determining its value also were more likely to be more competitive.”