Now that we live in a flat world (see: The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century) you’ll start to see more organizations (entrepreneurial, non-profit, government, etc) that no longer act like “small businesses” but rather “quasi-small businesses”. They use the leverage, manpower, and distribution systems of large multinational organizations and media channels to accomplish their goals.
They may have some attributes that resemble a small business like a corporate office with “4 dogs and 12 employees”. They will have some, but not all of the features of, what we traditionally know as a small business.
Small business is traditionally defined as 500 direct employees or less. Yet, with collaboration between people utilizing various legal entities to protect their assets (including intellectual property) it is becoming the norm to have small business silos that operate cooperatively without engaging in a corporate merger or acquisition. Leaders are moving with ease between multiple organizations utilizing the power of their worldwide networks to accomplish their tasks without the need to obtain a passport or work visa.
It no longer requires a corporate structure, a board of directors, or a shareholders meeting to get things accomplished in this flat world. Yet when they are used it is not a surprise to find out that the board of directors meeting was actually just a foursome on the golf course or a conference call between people who have never met in person.
Quasi-Small Businesses, business mashups, and the hiring of the “majors” is occurring every day. It is being done by smaller and smaller organizations as the barriers to entry are getting less and less. The power brokers are the ones who represent talent and creativity. It’s the innovators, the out-of-the-box thinkers who will be successful in this new world. These are the people who don’t observe and design in the same breath; who don’t accept “business as usual”; who think big and get other people excited about their visions.
Find people like that and become like them. You no longer need to work for the large multinational to accomplish your career goals. Let the large multinationals work for you!