Entrepreneurial Empowerment

Jeff Johns

4 Stars

October 23, 2017

The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth – Eric Ries (Currency)

Straight out of Penn State, my son took a position in IT with a HUGE multi-national, multi-division, multi-product line corporation that everybody knows. Being new to the work force, he was shocked at how slowly this gargantuan corporation seemed to plod along at a glacial pace when it came to expanding markets and introducing new products. With silos firmly entrenched in the management structure to say that inertia has set in would be an understatement. From their he accepted a position working for an institution of higher education and now he longs for the comparable light speed at which his former employers worked.

With so much media and business press focus on startups and high tech and sprint to market, you have to wonder how so many great business entities ever lost sight of that entrepreneurial spirit and drive, to become so bogged down. Over the course of time we have heard the rather timid rallying cry from business as the encourage their middle managers and frontline staff to “take ownership” and run with ideas; only to see those folks who take that thought process to heart, crushed under the thumb of a cumbersome management structure.

Enter Eric Ries, the brainchild behind and author of The Lean Startup. Ries found himself at the center of both the natural audience, those in various stages of the startup mode and in the unnatural position of being brought in by behemoth corporations to try to inject that lean startup spirit back into the way they do business. This truly was a take ownership moment; why couldn’t these huge business entities with all of their inherent tools and resources utilize the can do spirit of a startup.

By deconstructing not only the startup process, but by breaking down the silos and chains of command, which had turned into the shackles of command, Ries demonstrates how this process will work no matter where you are on the business scale. He takes the principles outlined in The Lean Startup, and takes a deeper process dive into fleshing out how this can scale to more established and entrenched businesses, while adding new tools to the belts of true startups.