All Companies Will Become Startups
What is one of the major managerial differences between a mature company and a startup?
In a startup, all employees, whatever their role, are aware of everything that is happening. Information flows very quickly and freely because of the small number of employees and the horizontal nature of the organization.
As our societies are becoming more horizontal, all corporations will have to share information in the same way as startups. Indeed, the disintermediation resulting from the commoditization of digital technologies upsets the relations between a company’s stakeholders: They become ever more horizontal1, collaborative2 and continual3.
In this context, managers must convince rather than coerce and internal communications move from enunciation to conversation. Moreover, the digital revolution makes information equally accessible to all employees. This is why leaders who distribute information will be more successful than those who exert control over it.
The digital revolution has a second effect on corporations: It creates far more synergies between their different businesses. The creation of a global information, communications and trade infrastructure makes previously isolated activities converge. The Internet industrial revolution will further accentuate that phenomenon.
These new convergences, in and between companies, create an unprecedented imperative for information sharing. The methods of mature companies will have to mirror those of startups in this domain as well.
1 The influence of individuals is independent of their vertical position in an organization (management) or a relationship (customer-supplier, partners…).
2 Work is made in virtual collaboration rather than in traditional organizations.
3 People are “always on.”