Professor Schorer is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in the start-up acquisition and development of small and mid-sized companies. He focuses on businesses with unique ideas or technologies that are in need of guidance during their initial growth phases. Cliff has been involved with companies in the high tech arena, his last position being CEO of GeoVideo Networks, a Lucent Technologies Venture. Prior to that his career included businesses in the real estate, office-supply and health care industries. During the early 1990's he spent a considerable amount of time in Russia using his entrepreneurial approach to assist in the privatization process During his extensive professional career, Schorer has lectured in numerous business and academic forums both in the United States and abroad. He has developed financial management software programs for business education through his publishing company Bized.
Question: What's the difference between small and large corporations?
Clifford Schorer: I think in a major corporation you really have to focus a great deal on organization. You have to focus on the hierarchy of making it function, the different groups within the company and what they're doing and how they're balanced out and if you're maximizing return for investors and things like that. I think that's what top management does. I don't know many top managers who sit around saying, "Gee, let me come up with creative ideas." They're hoping that people are doing that for them. When an entrepreneurial company your whole management team has to be filled with ideas, has to be flexible, ready to change, and that has to become part of the culture so the culture is dramatically different. If you look and you said you wanted to run the military in a certain way, well, you can't run it as a democracy of entrepreneurs because it would never function. Right? A guy couldn't say, "Gee, I don't feel like flying the plane today. It's not a good day to do that," whereas in an entrepreneurial company you have to have the kind of people who say, "I'm going to take part here and I'm going to do what I have to do and we're going to — we got to look at this this way and maybe not be afraid of countering current leadership, not being afraid of challenging the people that are running the company because you don't want to hire a bunch of people who just agree with what you think. You want to have people that stimulate you. So I think that's the difference in style.
Recorded on: 5/13/08