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TheVentureCity

The Anti-Study

2nd Edition

Learn how business leaders are adapting & reacting to the current challenges

MARCH 2021

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Welcome to the second edition of the Anti-Study by TheVentureCity.

There is a high level of optimism and leaders are ready to move forward.


Despite the difficult times caused by the pandemic, optimism remains high. 86% of respondents are ready to roll up their sleeves, move forward and make the world a better place.


This sentiment aligns closely with a study of 1,000 business owners conducted by Capital One which found that 62% of small business owners are confident their businesses will eventually return to pre-pandemic conditions.

“The economic recovery will be hand in hand with entrepreneurs and large corporations. An alliance that will be strengthened to move towards the same objective, a new generation of capital and employment.”

Camilo Betancur - CEO, LA7EM

Lead with optimism. We’re living in incredibly uncertain and stressful times. Fostering an environment of optimism isn’t just good for morale - it’s good for business.  

It is critical to identify the trends that will affect the world in this new context.

One of the effects of the pandemic has been the shift in mindset of organizations. They are now more focused on anticipating future scenarios that could affect their industry in the future. 42% of respondents answered it is critical to identify signs and trends in this new context.

“Nowadays, the environment changes faster than the ability of many large and established corporations to react. Whoever does not create the future will live reacting to the future that others create for him.”

Laura Gómez - General Partner Ed-Tech Fund I, Latin Leap

It is fundamental to leverage technology and data in order to identify trends. We’ve never had so much information at our disposal. 

Leaders now want to focus on creating new, disruptive business models.

When we asked leaders to imagine their ideal organization and what they would need to do in order to achieve it, 65% felt it was critical for them to create new, disruptive business models. 

Leaders now understand there’s oftentimes a greater risk involved with not taking a risk. The pandemic has further enforced the ‘innovate or die’ mantra. 

Foster a culture of disruption from within and throughout the entire organization. Have your team constantly ask themselves - how could our current business practices be disrupted? Is there a better way?

“We must do better at balancing incremental innovation with innovation from first principles. However, we face two main challenges: our human resistance to change and the fear of celebrating new failures. These prevent the evolution of our mindset, which is essential for creating new paradigms.

José Luis Arizaga - Head of Instalments Spain, Amazon Payment Products

93% of organizations consider understanding customers their #1 challenge.

Most organizations still consider understanding the needs of users/clients as the biggest challenge. For those that are able to create strong customer experiences, the payoffs are big.

But, how big are they? A Qualtrics study on the ROI of Customer Experience found that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

"Users and clients must always be listened to, so they can be be sources of ideas to innovate in this new world that is presented to us"

Guillermo Beingolea- Former CIO, Prima AFP

As corporations grow larger, they often become more detached from their customer base. Use data to monitor their behavior, the insights you gain from them are invaluable.


Improving the end-to-end user experience is a priority but many don’t know how.


When imagining their ideal organization, executives felt creating a more customer-centric, agile and collaborative culture is critical. 94% of respondents in our study said improving the end-to-end user experience was a priority for them. 

Likewise, in a recent global study conducted by Amplitude, 94% of business leaders see understanding digital user behavior as a priority however 71% said they don’t know exactly how to do so.

"Users and customers are becoming more digital and demanding, expecting more personalized experiences"

Paula de Corral - Marketing Director, UNIR

There has never been a better moment for startups and  corporates to collaborate. This brings great value in the form of specialized talent, agility, speed of technology adoption, etc.

There is still room for improvement in digital maturity


25% of the Anti-study participants have begun piloting adoption of new technologies and processes.

In a study of 5,400 workers, Accenture found that companies that identified as digitally fluent were 5.4x more likely to be projecting high revenue growth in the next three years.

To improve digitization, corporates and startups alike should focus on 3 key areas to remain competitive: diversified teams, company culture and agile execution.

"Invest in quality data, its generation and its use through data-smart mechanisms, combining artificial and human intelligence, to improve services."

Carlos Santiso - Corporate Director, Governance Practice on Digital Innovation in Government, Development Bank of Latin America

Lack of leadership alignment is an important barrier for transformation

“We need to accept that the transformation necessary to emerge strengthened from an environment of constant change and high uncertainty is not a matter of personal preferences. We must look for the culture (Organization, Processes, Values, Resources, Climate, Retribution for success) that best prepares us to compete in this environment.”

Julián Díaz - SVP Strategy & Digital Transformation, Mapfre North America

From a leadership perspective, 47% of respondents answered having a shared purpose and values as most important in facilitating the transformation to their ideal organization.

Similarly, a new report by Leadership IQ surveying 21k+ employees found that only 29% say their leader’s vision for the future always seems to be aligned with the organizations. 

Too often the top layer of an organization agrees on a strategy but it then gets lost at the next layer as they deem it too risky. Set goals and align them with incentives at all levels of the organization. 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

The pandemic has shown us that agility and digitization are key tools for dealing with disruption.

The post-pandemic environment will be a great opportunity to innovate. There is a willingness to shift mindsets more than ever before. 

Take this opportunity to make sure leadership is correctly aligned with business objectives and revisit this often!

Above all, place your customer at the center of your strategy and the rest will fall into place. They are your North Star.