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The Times: Big Businesses Have to Watch Out for Tech-Savvy Newbies

Reprint of The Times article 'Wake up call to big business as tech-savvy newbies set the pace'

Not long ago the Financial Times has published a special report about how and why big businesses start to warm up to Agile. The same topic has been picked up by Carly Chynoweth in The Times’ article: ‘Wake up call to big business as tech-savvy newbies set the pace’, featuring academic and industry insights from Cass Business School and two Radtac clients - Hiscox and William Hill.

 The key takeaway from both articles stays the same - traditional, inflexible, legacy heavy companies have to learn from their smaller, but more Agile competition. Agile, lean start-ups can make for big businesses being left behind.

Professor Costas Andriopoulos, who is teaching innovation and entrepreneurship at Cass Business School, talks about the connection between a company’s size and its (lack of) flexibility, which can lead to a ‘protecting the status quo’ attitude rather than an innovative approach when it comes to big businesses.

When compared to these, tech start-ups are far more Agile and flexible, with flat structures encouraging cross-team collaboration, and keep themselves open to the tech ecosystem for a better reach in knowledge and skilled people.

Failure is normal part of the business, or more specifically learning from failure, as both Professor Andriopoulos and Crispin Nieboer, William Hill’s Director of Corporate Development and Innovation state.

“It is all about removing the fear of failure and learning faster than the competition.” (Crispin Nieboer)

Hiscox CEO, Steve Langan, draws a parallel to tech businesses, showing how every business could benefit from their mentality - transform ideas into products and services, fail quickly if you have to and then move on.

Final thought is that being Agile and not afraid of failure can set you apart from a heavy, traditional company, and can help against being left behind by your Agile competition. This is why both the Financial Times and the Times have emphasized Agile in special features timed in a moment when digital transformation and technology is still disrupting many industries.

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Sabina Stoiciu

Sabina Stoiciu

A PR and marketing professional, Sabina enjoys working in a vibrant business environment. She sees Agile as a mindset that enables everyone to think and work differently, achieving better outcomes. Sabina has a bachelor's degree in Communication and PR, and a master's degree in Marketing and Advertising. She previously worked as a Marketing professional for a technical product - a form building platform - where Agile had started to improve the company's performance. Read more