BigCo’s Be Nimble, Mid-sized Companies Think Big


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Jason Hauer co-founded the Garage Group in Cincinnati, OH a dozen years ago – to teach executives in big companies to hustle, innovate, and grow like small start-ups. I founded (re)ALIGN to work with midsized companies to grow into new categories, new channels, or grow faster with a cross-functional go-to-market approach. That is to say, Jason and I talked about similar challenges from different perspectives.

3:26 – on the challenge with innovation in bigco’s “they’re focused on mastering the existing business model… whereas innovation, to push into new places, you have to explore, test, and learn. You have to shed that fixed, tight division of labor mindset for a search mentality.”

7:09 – on frameworks for innovation (Design Thinking, Lean Startup, JTBD/Jobs To Be Done, etc.): “It goes back to empathy and problem definition, who you’re trying to solve for?”

8:27 – “We’re big in solution development and big believers of bringing analogous inspiration to get leaders thinking differently.”

10:50 – … “I love reading all the books and learn the theories, but sometimes people fall in love with a framework and then make the mistake that it’s a paint by numbers thing, which it really is not.”

11:58 – “True mastery of innovation and value creation means you understand methods and tools for what they are…that you leverage different approaches and different tools.”

15:57 – “Digital Transformation – both front room (customer-facing) and backroom (operations-facing) – requires a mindset shift from everybody.”

19:13 – “If you have more of that search mentality and recognize that relevancy is fleeting, your team will embrace that… curiosity pulls you in to what’s next.”

21:32 – “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

23:50 – … “In some industries growth is stagnating… you can’t drive efficiency and continue to grow; you have to fundamentally think differently how to drive growth.”

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