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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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Cultural similarities

Large firms and startups differ culturally in many ways, but the similarities are often far deeper and touch upon the fundamentals of the organization: the importance of entrepreneurship, innovation at all levels and customer centricity. This can help form an “axis of collaboration.”

Cultural gaps

The hidden, internal cultural gaps between the layers in large organizations are often far greater than the David-Goliath culture 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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