Making the shift to a startup mentality

For enterprises seeking an innovative edge, a startup’s approach can reap dividends. But the road to change is challenging and not for every organization.

Making the shift to a startup mentality
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Startups and enterprises think differently — and for good reason. A business with 10 employees can move much more quickly than one with 10,000. Enterprises often support vast troves of legacy systems and have an existing client base to serve. And though they typically have more money at their disposal, they get a bad rap for being rigid, less innovative, and prime for disruption.

So in hopes of remaining competitive, stakeholders and C-suites often pressure enterprise IT teams to act like startups. Sometimes the mentality shift works: Phil Wiser, CTO of CBS, transformed his former employer, Hearst Communications, as CTO from an enterprise to a startup mentality over the course of six years, he says, a transition that made tech operations more profitable. At insurance firm Liberty Mutual, CIO James McGlennon agrees, saying that startup thinking improves “automation and optimization from an efficiency perspective” and helps a company stand out from its competitors.

A startup mentality may not be beneficial for every organization. But if your team is looking for that startup edge, here are several key steps and methodologies from IT leaders who successfully made the shift.

Determine whether change is actually needed

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