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10 Key Skills Big Corporations Can Learn From Startups And How They Will Disrupt Your Corporation



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The contrast between a startup and an established corporation is significant. One may wonder what a small business that is starting can teach a well-grounded company; however, opposites attract. Thus, big corporations can learn from startups also.

Unilever supports this argument by stating that 80% of big companies refer to startups whenever they are searching for innovative and creative ideas to fuel growth. This means that although big businesses have money and human resources, startups have speed and creativity, which are vital elements for success.

Indeed people think of lean processes, new technologies, ambitious outlooks, and funky office spaces as the major differences between the two businesses. However, there is more to it than that. Innovations and alternative business practices fuel startups; hence giants should learn how to incorporate these into their business models.

Therefore, continue reading this article for more tips on the top ten things that iconic brands can learn from startups.

Continuous Learning

Startups have a constant learning culture, and their employees have a dynamic learning experience. On the other hand, big brands have a steep learning curve because continuous learning is not part of its day to day work. They should learn from these new companies to introduce a continuous improvement to help its workforce increase economic growth and productivity. They can do this by applying different training methods like e-learning, traditional learning, and mobile learning. 

Limit Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy is inevitable as the company grows. However, some aspects aren’t completely unavoidable. They include minimizing loss or keeping the status quo. Startups, on the other hand, have a different mentality for they want to gain as much as possible. That is why they have fast-paced productivity because they limit decision-making processes bottlenecks and the flow of people. These are the work-flow models that the giants should emulate. For example, they can introduce smaller teams and grant them the freedom to make faster decisions with minimal risks. This will nurture units that are highly motivated, generate creative and innovative ideas in an entrepreneurial manner.

The Role of Networking

Both startups and well-established businesses struggle to find top talents. Therefore, it’s possible to have new techniques and tools as well as a team that can’t apply them in the business. However, networking with a broader network will help the two companies to access these talents. Actually, networking and collaboration is the only way to success for startups, and they have exemplified it.


Startups are ever looking for new solutions to their problems or growth. Its employers are continuously collaborating and transferring knowledge by leveraging the latest technology. On the other hand, big brands have hierarchical structures, and their departmental barriers limit their collaboration and information sharing. People become possessive of their knowledge when they become experts in a specific area. They don’t want to share their knowledge with other employees due to the silo mentality. The result is reduced productivity, morale, and efficiency.

Disruptive Force

A company needs to have an up-to-date and comprehensive understanding of the players in the target market. A company should understand the chosen market and strive to address its customers’ needs or differentiate itself from the competitors in that space. Startups are an excellent example of innovation and disruption. Without these two lifeblood, they will lose their unique advantage and eventually fail. To avoid this, newly established companies are always seeking ways to be innovative in every step of their development.


Startups can break into the marketplace through disruption. These companies don’t rest even when they introduce successful products in the market. They keep on developing new and better products with a view of retaining and attracting new customers. On the other hand, most mature companies stop to innovate and starts protecting their market position. This action gives competitors a chance to develop advanced solutions that begin to erode their market share. For that reason, iconic giants should learn from startups who fight tooth and nail for traction and growth.


Startups are known to implement the right metrics to know when they fail or succeed. They always link innovation with results, and this helps them to know when they are off-track. On the other hand, most of the leaders in the big corporations have no clear financial restrictions. The big corporations can learn from startups to tightly link the innovation team with business departments. This will help them understand how innovative projects are impacting their product lines and revenue.

Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is one of the common barriers to growth and innovation. A big company will always find it hard to implement innovation when the underlying culture is unconducive for new ideas and creativity. The challenge is more profound when the source of innovation is outside the company. The firm ends up underutilizing knowledge when the business rejects new ideas from internal or external sources. On the other hand, startups have a culture that improves as the company grows because they hire employees who share the same values. They are not tied to a rigid structure.

Work Together for Success

The big brands should not only learn from startups but should also work with them. They should create a symbiotic and complementary relationship with these small businesses. For such will generate a cycle of success and innovation. It’s more of picking disruptive attributes such as the startups’ hunger for success through their agility to meet the market needs and innovation. For example, Oracle is offering an in-house accelerator for new businesses and, at the same time, adding value to its operation. All along these big businesses have been asking how they can be innovative and how they can move quickly.

Think Globally

Startups consider the world as their oyster, and the actual status in the technology space proves that. These companies are producing products and services that are accessible globally because they are not penned in by location. Big companies should learn to categorize their customers by type but not by geography. They should imitate startups that are exerting themselves to grow beyond their national borders by mining markets that iconic brands wouldn’t consider entering into. therefore, big corporations can learn from startups on how to think globally


Thinking like startups is about taking attributes that make these businesses disruptive. These qualities contribute to their hunger for success which is achieved through their agility to meet customers’ needs and innovation. Big corporations can learn from startups and this may increase their survival before smaller fish eating the big fish. Indeed the digital era has a new rule that states disrupt or you will be disrupted.

I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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