Early in my entrepreneurial career, American Express acquired my first start-up, a company called Competitive Technologies. I remember wondering why a company with seemingly infinite resources would buy my much smaller one. And executives there told me why: there are some aspects of the way start-ups operate that even the world's most established companies can benefit from.
Here's a few ways long-standing and even large companies can behave more like start-ups:
1. Stand for Something
People you know who work for bigger companies are sometimes envious of the sense of belonging that start-up counterparts have. The sense of mission, the excitement. So put it back. Find a cause and rally all your employees around it. Give them a unifying sense of purpose, something they can share and feel part of. After all, if a winning sports team can unify an entire city, then surely you can energize your own employees around winning your Super Bowl in whatever market you're in. Draw that Super Bowl goal on the board, and hold a pep rally to get everyone excited about winning together. When's the last time you held a pep rally at work?
Start-ups are "scrappy." But being scrappy doesn't mean doing everything yourself. It means getting things done efficiently; sometimes that means bringing in a partner. Established companies often think they already know everything. Learn more about Inc.com's remaining three suggestions.