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Can an established company or government organization work like a startup? Can the same principles be applied to established companies as to up-and-coming young companies? And what does a modern company even look like? These are just a few questions that companies are asking themselves today in the face of ever-increasing competition from startups that seem to emerge from nowhere and change competitive conditions overnight. In order to survive in the long term, companies, even entire industries, must question their product strategy, their business model, even their business purpose and consequently reinvent themselves in order to continue to be successful.
How a company can function like a startup is an exciting topic that is addressed in “The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth.” It is the follow-up to Eric Ries‘ groundbreaking book “The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses,” a bestseller that sold over a million copies in 2011.
In “The Startup Way” Ries describes how the principles of Lean Startup can be applied to established organizations and provides a number of impressive examples as proof, from General Electric to government institutions such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, that were successfully transformed by “The Startup Way”.
The key message: A modern company must not position itself as a start-up or try to be “more agile” under any circumstances. Rather, it is more appropriate to gradually adapt start-up principles, from the first elementary unit of work to changes in deep-rooted systems.
Ries describes the five basic principles of The Startup Way philosophy and points out the cultural challenges involved in introducing the approach. He also shows how the challenges can be solved and explains which methods and tools are used by startups, such as minimum viable products, course changes and the build-measure-learn model.
Since we at AOE also deal extensively with topics such as corporate leadership and Agility, and incorporate new insights into our corporate culture and daily work, we invited Eckhart Böhme to answer our questions on these topics. In an informative Q&A session, he explained what the Startup Way philosophy is all about and how today‘s modern company works.
Eckhart Böhme is a trainer, speaker and author of articles on business model development, lean startup and the Jobs-to-be-Done theory. As a technical consultant, he was involved in the translations of the German editions of “Competing Against Luck” and “The Startup Way”, by the innovation pioneers Clayton Christensen and Eric Ries, respectively.
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