Corporates need startups to survive

Ambidexterity is defined as the ability to use both your left and right hand. You all know how difficult it is to use your ‘other’ hand, let alone to simultaneously and independently operate them.

Piano players, basketball players and knitting grandmoms train for thousands of hours to get to ambidexterity. It is said that only one in a hundred people have this ability.

In the organizational context ambidexterity is used for characterizing organisations that have the ability to foster both explorative and exploitative processes, and probably also here, only one in a hundred organizations master this. This subject is getting momentum in corporate management.

Exploitative vs explorative

Startups are – by definition- explorative, as Steve Blank famously defined startups as organizations formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. Most existing large companies are organized around exploitative processes, where it is not at all about searching, but all about execution of an existing business model.


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