Be true to yourself, big company people

It would be nice if it were that easy, but innovation and passion won’t be released if a big company starts acting like a it’s a start up. The cultures and the people have developed in different ways.  But there is a way that some of the startup genie’s magic can be released.

This is my latest column from the FT. The full article can be found here

When he graduated from business school 20 years ago, a colleague of mine was the only member of his cohort who did not join a blue-chip management consultancy. After an expensive MBA, this career choice left his fellow graduates aghast. “Why would you want to set up a small business?” they asked.

But that was two decades ago. His unlikely direction of travel is no longer called something as lightweight or unambitious as “setting up a small business”. It has become a proper thing; a desirable and bold thing with its own culture and snappy labels. Small businessmen and women are called “founders” or “entrepreneurs” and their businesses are not mum-and-dad companies but “start-ups”.

And now, my colleague, the black sheep of his graduation class, gets asked to speak to business schools and consult with corporations about what start-ups can teach big organisations.

So far has the wheel spun that…