I have been successfully working in the corporate world for more than 20 years now. Besides all successes, unfortunately, my experience was quite often that a lot of employees and managers of top and mid management level have unlearned to ask the really important questions:

Why does my company exist?

Who are my customers and what are their real needs?

What is the necessary skill set to survive or to even outperform our competitors?

Focus is too often on distracting organizational issues, corporate regulations, administration and quite often irrelevant topics with regard to the company success. Focus is often on issues even hindering companies to work on the solutions for tomorrow. Projects are often overloaded with high ambitious goals, too much project organization, reporting and internal regulations.

In other words, employees are often prisoners in their organization.

And then there is this new world of startups…

enpact enabled me to get a deep insight in the central European and MENA Ecosystem. I even became a small part of it. Through sharing my experience as a mentor in enpact I got the opportunity to learn about how startups work.

So, what does a good startup focus on differently compared to traditional companies?

  • Speed – is more important than control
  • Customer – the customer need is absolutely key and should be the driver, not the requirements of another company department
  • Data – gathering relevant data, analyzing and by this creating the basis for decisions about stopping, changing or proceeding (fail fast – fail cheap…)
  • Implementation – get a prototype out as fast as possible. Don’t wait for the perfect solution. Never let better in the way of good.
  • Disruptiveness – don’t accept the existing as a given
  • Perspective – Long-term rather than quarterly result orientation

Mentoring at enpact and working with the 2015 intake was eye opening to me and shaped me a lot. I got aware of how startups can help established managers and companies to refocus on the important issues, to refocus on customer needs and new problem solving.

Of course it is important to keep in mind that many startups fail because of their lack of knowledge about how to set up and run a company in the mid- and long-run. Here it is the role of enpact to bring the dynamics of young companies together with experienced, successful starters, entrepreneurs and managers for a knowledge exchange. Both stabilize each other. A pure win-win-situation for all participants.

by Joachim Wimmers