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David-Goliath Culture Gaps

Will culture gaps kill—or enhance—your collaboration?

OVERVIEW

Large organizations could be wasting a significant growth opportunity because of their inability to effectively collaborate with startups. These “David-Goliath” culture gaps between the two types of organizations are a major obstacle. But it is also important to recognize and address the hidden internal culture gaps between the hierarchical layers in a large organization.

But these two kinds of gaps don’t necessarily have to kill collaboration. When managed properly, organizations can bridge the divide, learn from each other and drive benefits well beyond the initial technological and market gains.

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KEY FINDINGS

According to our research, there’s much more to David-Goliath culture gaps than meets the eye:


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David-Goliath gaps

Large U.S. firms and startups differ culturally in many ways: risk taking, involving employees in setting the strategy, bureaucracies. For U.S. leaders, making a David-Goliath collaboration succeed requires identifying these gaps as well as skillful management.

Internal gaps

Internal cultural gaps between the hierarchical layers in large U.S. organizations can be even greater than David-Goliath gaps. Leaders at large companies are often unaware, for example, that lower-level employees might be dissatisfied with internal bureaucracies or lack of entrepreneurial spirit.

Large organizations typically seek collaborations to gain access to innovative technologies and new markets, but the ancillary cultural benefits can be far   more valuable. Large firms can use collaborations with startups to transfer desired cultural traits, such as an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

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AUTHORS

CONTRIBUTOR

Jérémy Batilliot       Connect with Jérémy Batilliot's Profile/s on LinkedIn. This opens a new window.





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