4 ways to create a startup culture in any organization

Startup culture is known for many things – agility, resilience, perseverance, risk taking, customer centricity, failure and iteration – all in an effort to reach the business vision to make money and achieve market adoption.

Why can’t more enterprise businesses work like startups – fast to produce value, and grow products over time through iteration vs. the traditional waterfall approach with long “value” cycles.

There are many reasons people cite for this gap – hierarchies, politics, lack of funding, and culture – the general mindset of “we don’t need to change.”

On the flip-side of the above arguments, are many reasons why you can create a startup culture inside your own company, no matter the size or goals of the business.

Let’s look at a 4 strategies to consider:

1) Connect, and solve a business goal, fast!

In that order – always connect to a business goal, show business decision makers around you, how whatever it is that you have done (marketing, technology, process innovation, etc) actually helps to achieve the business goal – faster.

2) Start small, pilot and show business results.

Start small, prototype something, get feedback, iterate and show business results.  Solving small problems at a fast pace consistently, builds momentum and an appetite for funding.

If you can show your peers how your “lean and mean” pilot could accelerate the achievement of their goals, people will want to invest in your strategy to get more of it.   Always strive to show the “art of the possible”.

3) Power to the people!

It’s really important to have a great team around you. If you look at any great startup, hardly anyone does it alone.

When hiring people the baseline skills for what you are hiring for are table stakes. The magic in people really shines when they can identify personally with the business vision of your company. People that are excited about contributing to a shared vision, will relentlessly drive towards reaching the collective goal.

It’s not about any one person, it’s about the team and company achieving the goal.  Find people with these traits and your company will achieve great results that will set you apart.

4) Partner, Partner, Partner!

Even though hiring is a great feature of startup culture, since most startups have limited funds, they cannot get everyone they need.

Partnerships are a great way to build momentum. Find companies and organizations both inside and outside your industry that may be interested in partnering with you for some mutual benefit. For example maybe you are a bank and want to advertise your new mobile app to a targeted group of people such as “movie goers”. Put in a call to theater companies and see what can be worked out, if you don’t ask and explore these “off the beaten path” methods you won’t know. Some ideas will work, some wont, but that’s what startups do – non-traditional angles drive strategic differentiation.

The bottom line is, businesses that leverage the startup culture, will innovate faster, and create market differentiation that allow them to thrive in the nexteconomy of digital business.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Humza Teherany
Humza Teheranyhttp://about.me/humzateherany
Humza is Chief Executive Officer of Compass Digital Labs and Chief Innovation officer at Compass Group Canada. Compass is the world’s largest hospitality, retail and support services company. He is responsible for technology, innovation, digital marketing and consumer experience strategy, across industry verticals such as; Retail, Sports, Entertainment, Business and Industry, Healthcare, Education, Oil and Gas among others. Humza is also a member of the Board of Directors @ the CIO Association of Canada.

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