Corporations Are Startups Too

Posted by Boris Grinkot on

Chances are your day job is with a company that has been around for a while, perhaps decades, with a stable product mix and customer base. But startups are cropping up across all industries: not just in tech, but in healthcare, finance, publishing, education, fashion, etc. This means that someone, right now, is working on taking a chunk of your market share. For some of us, this is the cue to take off and build DropBox. But for others, who have been reading up and following the Lean movement, this represents a unique career opportunity: becoming the champion of Lean at your company and becoming your CEO's best friend.
“someone, right now, is working on taking a chunk of your market share”
Sure, you could just send all your employees to a local LSM workshop or invite us to do an on-site (we'll gladly take your money!), but most companies haven't even considered an innovation training budget. Again, this means opportunity: if you can lead a basic workshop yourself, without asking your CEO for a budget, you both save time and demonstrate your dedication. Your DIY Lean Workshop More importantly, doing something small and low-budget will help you sell the idea with minimal resistance. Pick one Lean process, like customer development, and ask for a half day on a Friday to practice it. This is your corporate innovation MVP. Here are three simple things to keep in mind:
  1. Pick a Lean process like customer development that you are personally comfortable teaching
  2. Make sure that your colleagues have enough time to practice: a workshop is about doing, not talking
  3. Have deliverables for your CEO on Monday: what you discovered, and what you need to do next
This is about changing your company's culture, and a cultural change starts with getting buy-in from the top. This means demonstrating small incremental successes to build your case. Are you at the beginning of this journey or have you already been able to steer your company toward an innovation culture? Please share your challenges and experiences to get feedback and to help the community!
Thumbnail photo credit: fpatmurphy