What is a Startup Mindset, how to awake it within your company and make it a part of your culture

Innovation is the key concept of modern business strategies that evolved in the last decades. It has become much more than a mere theory: it is a matter of culture – and it is, or at least it ought to be, a sustainable and continuous process.

Big and small corporations, even the most successful ones, often need to revolutionize their organizational structure and processes, to move from a hierarchy to networks and from managing information to processing them, as they try to adapt rather than sustain [1]. And the best starting point are the people – allowing them to release their creativity, encourage them to question the status quo and never be afraid of failure. For this reason one of the main drivers of Startups boom globally are actually  Lean & Agile culture, based on these core concepts.

We Can All Be Entrepreneurs

One of the most famous examples of the introduction of startup mindset within a big company is provided by the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft, companies that create numerous autonomous startup-like teams, allowing them to “break away” from the organizational and processual barriers and offer fresh solutions and ideas.

Startup-like context and the work environment it creates allows employees to embrace the creative thinking, to experiment and work closely together to achieve specific, often short term goals. It teaches them to be agile, to accept change as a natural part of any work process, to humbly accept feedback and use to improve in a positive manner. This is allowing each team member to clearly see the importance of its role, to understand the strengths and skill-gaps of each team mate and work on creating a true cross-functional team. The individual development and growth is inseparably tied to the development and growth of the company itself.

An excellent example of how startup mindset can become a part of an educational path comes from Daniel Burrus and his article “Adopting a Startup Mindset”. He quotes the practice introduced by The National University of Singapore that allows junior year students to spend one year working as interns in startups in some of the major global hubs, such as Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Tel Aviv. After a one year experience they return to Singapore to finish their studies and eventually start their own business. This is a strategy on how to fuel the economy with innovation: startups aspire toward innovation, and do so through a work culture that encourages active participation from all employees in achieving that goal, and that results in common enthusiasm, motivation and sensing every aspect of the company from top to bottom [2].

Developing a startup mindset within a company is important for several aspects related to personal development and motivation. Startup model builds the sense of responsibility and gives the freedom to confidently express ideas opinions. This is the fertile context that allows the transformation of creative concepts into real projects through co-working. Because you never know where the next big idea will come from!