Corporate Sustainability - Evaluating Corporate Needs To Adopt Start-up Approach

Sep 30 Posted By Raamish Rana | 0 comment

In modern times, as rapid changes are taking place in business environment globally, large corporations need to have flexible structures to react timely to the most relevant trends, and deliver efficiently on customer needs that can help sustain their businesses. This necessity has made it important for corporations to undertake a start-up approach to address consumer concerns with an openness to their needs.  Hence, it serves a great deal of benefit to highlight some of the start-up practices that have become widely accepted today to evaluate their usefulness to corporate sustainability:

- Lean start-up approach: This approach introduced by Ries, has been widely adopted by some of the most successful companies of the likes of General Electric, and which continues to inspire people through some of the amazing products designed to do their job well. For example GE recent time-saving washing machine reduces washing time by 20% without compromising on the washing quality clearly enhances customer convenience by minimizing time. As per Kasey Panneta, a key segment, GE Fastworks at GE serves as a key lever to “translate lean start-up principles and other disruptive strategies across its ecosystem, enabling GE to design experiments to test minimum viable products”. Hence this enables GE to “discover early customer needs through experimentation while validating key assumptions before launching the final product.” Their approach in my view explains a sizeable portion of GE’s projected 10.48%, 5 year growth rate provided by NASDAQ. ( based on their exceptional growth in the past. It is imperative to highlight that such approaches have been an outgrowth of the practices of silicon-valley start-ups and offers a unique mechanism for corporate success.

- Culture of collaboration: One of the immediate benefits that start-ups are exposed to is a collaborative work culture, which is realized due to its small size, nature of its operations, and a fast paced environment. This collaborative culture enables start-ups to quickly validate the merits of their approach and products through exchanging useful information that might arrive from different areas within the company such as marketing (that acts as voice of external customers), and strategy (that provides for the key trends, and competitive landscape to shape future direction). Collaborative work cultures are fast gaining momentum at large corporations like Cisco, a multinational technology corporation, whose Executive, Ron Ricci identifies that  “collaboration is vital for company-wide strategic alignment”, and that major decisions such as “rapid exit from home networking business would not have been possible without effective collaboration”.

- Bold approaches: Making employees take bold approaches has been a norm accepted at start-ups where the scale of operations enable employees to test and try new approaches, and work harder to accomplish results. Similar approach was used at Tesla Motors (once a start-up) that continues to design some of the top electric vehicles. Their founder Elon Musk identifies as hiring employees solely on their ability to solve complex problems as opposed to experience which pushed employees to work harder– this approach has been one of the key factors soaring their share price to “15-fold since 2010 to $33 Billion company as per market capitalization”. Hence bold approaches encouraging employees to test their limits is undoubtedly an important aspect for large corporate success. 

In conclusion, in an ambiguous business environment of today, corporations can enhance the abilities to sustain businesses by adopting some of the approaches that come natural to start-ups that capitalize on new opportunities. These include effectively deploying Lean start-up methodologies, utilizing collaborative work culture, and taking bold approaches.


Panneta, Kasey. "Why Big Companies Need Lean Startup Techniques." N.p., n.d. Web.

Anderson, Kare. “What makes collaboration actually work in a company.” N.p., n.d. Web.

Dyer Jeff and Gregsen Hal, “Decoding Tesla’s Secret Formula”