Empezar startup
My first two posts discussed new players reshuffling the cards of the global economy – forcing traditional companies to reinvent themselves – and their ability to become tomorrow’s leaders. In this new post, I’ll talk about what to do to avoid being “disrupted” or “uberized”.

Several prerequisite reminders are necessary: first, this isn’t about the “good” on one side – startups and the new economy, and the “bad” on the other – big static businesses that are bogged down by their own complexity. CAC 40 companies and others, including SMEs, have profoundly transformed in recent years by integrating the rules of the digital revolution. In all reality, some are quite advanced. There aren’t startups on one side, with their youth and modernity, and traditional businesses on the other with their baby boomers. Young people are active on both sides, and elders bring even more value than some people at first thought. The solution is not to set the two worlds apart, but rather make them work together. Startups and classical economics can certainly offer something to each other.

Startups push traditional companies to adapt their business models in order to avoid being out of the market. This is why “uberization” is an opportunity ! An opportunity for those able to take it before it is too late.

We must get out of clichés between the world of startups and the one of the traditional economy.
My intention is not to place the actors of the new economy that act very quickly against those of more traditional business world, which have sometimes been innovating for decades. I don’t need to make an endless list.

However, it seems that certain practices allow companies overtaken by new market entrants to not only react with greater responsiveness and efficiency, but also benefit.

Without being exhaustive, here are those that I have identified over the past two years.

Practice 1 : Put creativity at the heart of the organization, of all processes and trades.

It should not only concern Research & Development, but naturally also organizational, social, human, environmental and business matters. When diffused, it can only change the state of mind of each person, hence more broadly, the whole company. It becomes the best defense to deterring new potential market entrants and avoiding brutal disruptions.

Practice 2 : Encourage teams to take measured risks.

It is therefore fit to accept the principle of the right to err or fail, according to the saying attributed to Nelson Mandela: “I never lose. Either I win or I learn.” It’s the rest that characterizes the operating method of startups. They take risks – they do not have a choice. By disseminating a culture of engagement and pushing managers to make decisions, classic businesses move into position to more effectively deal with “disrupters” whose sole dream is to take market share. Risk taking is by no means only reserved for startups.

Practice 3 : Develop a strong corporate culture.

It is the glue between teams. The values held by the company and its leaders bond employees together and create a true collective identity. We must remember that culture is the sole factor that is impossible to copy. It is what differentiates two entities or two groups of people. This is one of the benefits of older companies. They have history, and we know that in many cases, mobilizing their energy at key moments can make all the difference.

Practice 4 : Leverage talent and skill.

One must have the “right people in the right positions taking the right actions at the right time” and invest in the training of teams. Knowledge – even if it changes very quickly these days – allows any company to create competitive advantages, which are often determinant. In disregarding this, the company may stall.

Practice 5

Ensure that cultural diversity is well represented within the company. We are so used to work with stereotypical elites who enjoy co-opting amongst themselves, that we haven’t always realized that the world has changed. Integrating different profiles within a team is a tremendous asset to diversifying the team and making it more agile, more able to react to external attacks.

We must capitalize on young people, the generational mix, diversity, cultural diversity, talents, all forms of intelligence and give meaning to our actions

Practice 6

Make diversity a reality. Women and men will have to share positions of responsibility for the good of both our company and economy. Equality – especially in management positions – ultimately means better performance and more creativity. On this last point, women undeniably offer a different view. The theme of diversity is not new. We’ve spoken about it for a long time, too long. We must now make it a reality. It’s a battle, nothing else.

Practice 7 : Have a thriving generational mix.

We must first trust the younger generations. “Conventional” companies must attract young developers, Generation Y – soon to be GEN Z – and ensure that they are well integrated with quality roles. It is vital that they be coached by the older employees who have experience and expertise. By successfully implementing this collaboration, the company increases its chances of not missing out on major business.

Practice 8 : Mastering the digital revolution

It tipped the world’s balance into the 4th industrial revolution. Not understanding the issues and its significance is sure to lead to great turbulence. This means that management committees should take on major future challenges and assimilate the “mechanics” and procedures. This will have an obvious impact on employment and talent management.

Practice 9 : Grant space for all forms of intelligence.

Do not select job applicants solely on the usual criteria, such as the famous IQ scores. Emotional intelligence seems to be of the utmost importance in order to progress in the world of tomorrow, as does relational intelligence, i.e. the ability to form networks, support them and use them effectively.

Practice 10 : Give meaning to everything we do, our actions.

The younger generations are very sensitive. But in reality everyone is. We want an answer to the question “why”. It’s a bit like when we were kids, and we wanted to understand everything. We have lost the habit, trapped in the cycle of our daily lives.

I think these are the major actions to be taken in order to gain a prime position in this rocky digital world, and emerge a winner.

Lastly, startups allow definitely classical economics to reinvent itself. They should be praised for it!

Start-Up: disruption is an Opportunity !

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