In the face of uncertainty, who responds better, a chimp or a gorilla?
When crisis arise insecurity and fear of the future rule, yet responsiveness of small companies as well as of those most adapted technologically (chimps) is greater than the reaction of large corporations (gorillas).
The market is like the sea, sometimes calm and at other times with strong waves, where after one wave there is another one coming. Crises are the crests of the waves, times of turbulent waters but when used wisely, they become the opportunity to fish (or “chimp”) in troubled waters as the saying goes.
Agile as a chimp or slow as a gorilla?
Over last years, we have suffered two big crises: the 2008 financial crisis provoked by the housing bubble and now, Covid 19, the pandemic that has become a global health issue.
The 2008 crisis exposed large organizations that had grown in times of ease and abundance without realizing that bureaucracy and rigidness had made them big, slow and dull, preventing them to react on time and thus, leading to the disappearance of many of them. However, in the same scenario and in the same sectors where many companies succumbed, new organizations appeared and changed the market, modifying the habits in the acquisition of services; Aibnb (2008) changed the concept of tourist accommodation, Uber (2009) of mobility and Bitcoin (2009) of the securities sector.
In the current situation due to Covid 19, we have seen that digital adaptation became a mainstay to overcome the lockdown. Some companies that had done their homework and were clear that the talent has to be harnessed, regardless its geographic location, were able to keep the work flow and communication between teams and collaborators, reduced costs without headcount downsizing and implemented actions with more agility.
Crisis fuel the creation, innovation and transformation for those companies that have been working their culture.
The company culture are its behaviors and values, its habits and customs, the identity and exclusion processes; ultimately, the basis that support their strategies and actions. The gorilla type, rigid culture, prevents from a good adjustment in times of crisis and ambiguity, reacts slowly and has a very limited vision regarding future strategies. The chimp type Culture of Innovation, provides very agile elements to the organization that in the face of changing situations allows working rapidly in different scenarios and trying different options, without extraordinary costs since such proposals have been experienced or prototyped already.
Transforming the company’s culture into a Culture of Innovation protects the organization and prepares it before the times of uncertainty and ambiguity of the market. So, let’s take a look inside the company, find out which employees and departments are more entrepreneurial, creative and more motivated, or otherwise, where the bureaucracy, fear to change and pusillanimous directors prevail.
The culture affects the entire organization, even in some divisions or departments alternative subcultures are created; finding them and knowing how to transform them increases the value of our organizations.