We have been experiencing economic growth for over ten years now. Companies that were founded in this period have experienced continuous tailwind and are not used to headwind. In those times, I have talked to many young companies in this category.
Some of these firms are in the startup phase, having deep confidence in their product and the future of their company. Others have moved on, are a bit further, but are aware that it takes a bit more to be a future-proof company.
It is quite logical that young companies are based on belief and confidence. They can afford to run risks, because there are few commitments to customers, financiers and employees. As the company matures, this changes. Continuity and predictability become more important, as well as resilience against adverse conditions. But the desire remains to be agile, in order to grasp opportunities. How can that be done?
I think this asks for a thought-through strategy: what should be the focus activities, what are the risks and the opportunities? How to structure the company, which company processes to establish? There is probably not a one-size-fits-all answer!
Remarkably, big companies like Philips and Bosch are looking for a startup culture. Probably, they have gone too far in establishing continuity and predictability. But they have weathered through some crises with that! They are now looking for opportunities that a startup culture may disclose.
Is there a middle road? Reactions are welcome!