How to get inspiration from start-ups to change large companies?

I recently moderated a Les Affaires panel on a fascinating topic: what have start-ups understood or accomplished, that large companies fail to combine? How can you get inspiration from it if you want to change an organization?

Under the theme ” Ongoing revolution: get inspired by the mindset of start-ups! three panelists openly and generously delivered their analysis on this topic: Mathieu Houle, Senior Director of Digital Technologies at Aldo Group, Patrick Gagné, CEO of the Osmo Foundation, and Jean-Philippe Poisson, founder of Elia Consulting (France) . Often colorful …

For Patrick Gagné and for his two accomplices, everything is in a state of mind …

Our three panelists attribute the success of start-ups to the state of mind that drives them. A state of mind that is fundamentally different from that in which large companies thrive and manifests itself even in its primary function, to find its business model in the process of evolution rather than define it in the beginning. In other words, as a large business applies its traditional business model, based on profitability, Get started making it evolve until it “finds” its momentum, its growth and consequently its profitability.


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For Patrick Gagné, CEO of the Osmo Foundation, this is a paradigm shift that opens the door to innovation, experimentation, courage, developing prototypes that will be launched on the market before they are even perfect, and even the right to err. , which is not the most prevalent value in large companies. The main difference of the start-up from the big company is the agility, the speed that this state of mind allows. He wasn’t even joking with us “If you are not ashamed of your product, when it is time to put it on the market, you are too late. » In other words, if you wait for your product to be perfect, another will beat you.

For Jean-Philippe Poisson, big business no longer knows how to innovate

Founder of Elia, a European consulting firm specializing in digital transformation, Jean-Philippe Poisson links all the difficulties of large companies to their business goal: to extend their competitive advantage as much as possible. While concerned that real innovation and inventiveness were born in these companies, he said they are now “managing methods » instead of doing change management, let them stretch the sauce and live at risk of their successes. As a result, they suffer from meetingitis, which weakens and prevents creators instead of giving them wings. How can they be inspired to start-ups ? By gaining more insight and giving more autonomy to their employees, while clearly limiting the “game play”. So, having a vision focused on change, reveal it to your troops and unleash their creativity.

For Mathieu Houle, large companies are hampered by their “middle management”

Aldo Group senior director Mathieu Houle said one of the barriers to change in large corporations is the conservatism of its managers, the “ central management “. Their conservatism, but also their recklessness in the face of what is however is a fact: while they quietly manage to continue, someone somewhere (in a garage!) Forms a a product or a service that will only be killed.Faced with this huge challenge, he recommends that the leaders of these companies adopt the model of Get started : express a clear vision, make sure that ” central management »The ownership of this perspective, forming multidisciplinary teams start-ups internal) and throw them on the ground so that they act as fast as start-ups. A necessary paradigm shift if they want to survive the arrival of “garage competitors” who are reinventing their own industry.

Unity around agility

Our three panelists were unanimous: now, it’s about agility, speed … but most of all state of mind. Hence the abundance of their references to the notion of design thinking », Of« sprint design », Of« fail-fast »And other concepts that the start-ups brought into the vocabulary of business management. Concepts where large companies will benefit from compliance, especially since this adhesion will force them to comply and change their mindset.


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However, this is what our panelists say and repeat: Here is where it all started. Ready to change?

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