Innovation is the new competitive advantage, yet it can be hard for large companies to innovate when their culture, processes and mindset don’t support this way of thinking. Even when corporate market leaders acquire innovative startups, the new business division generally doesn’t remain innovative for long.
It seems a corporate’s drive for risk reduction, cost optimisation and delivering steady returns to shareholders is the opposite of the environment that allows a startup to thrive.
Startups are great at creating innovative products, disrupting markets and outcompeting entrenched brands and larger companies (until they get acquired at least…). Start-up teams are non-hierarchical and hyper-collaborative, working under conditions of extreme uncertainty, and not afraid to experiment until they find a repeatable, scalable business model – that’s very different to the typical corporate structure and approach.
Entrepreneurs of successful startups are also laser-focused on the value that they can provide to their customers. With no research department behind them, they go out into the market themselves to learn firsthand what their customers are experiencing. In some cases, founders start their own companies in an effort to solve a problem they themselves were experiencing.
As an accountant and business advisor, we’re the first to acknowledge how vital good governance and regulatory compliance is to protect valuable brands and profits from reputational damage and financial risk, but its equally important to put our customers and clients first in everything we do. Accru Felsers client and H2 Ventures cofounder Toby Heap sums up what all businesses can learn from startups in his recent article:
“For startups, the ‘north star’ for governance is the question: “how do we deliver a better customer experience?”… “ If corporates simply asked: “is it the right thing for our customers”, they are immediately acting as a startup would.”
Read Toby’s full article with more insights in What can corporates learn from startups?