As Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) and a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Rob Wolcott knows a bit about networking and the politics of innovation. In this episode of Innovation Ecosystem Rob shares practical advice for intrapreneurs who are looking to get stuff done from within the middle of the organization. And for growth leaders of businesses, he also has some great tips about where to get your inspiration!
In the past few years, the mass digitization of business and society has pressured every organization – large and small, private and public – to innovate at unprecedented speed. This digital revolution has incited a new and disruptive era of hyper competition. It has accelerated the pace of change exponentially. It has forced companies to reinvent themselves. And it has utterly disrupted institutions and their cultures, upended entire markets, and hatched new business models that challenge traditional ways of operating.
Take a quick glance around your office. What do you see? Categorically “Start-up” types in t-shirts and jeans passing bottles of craft beer around? Or “Suits”, with their collars starched to perfection, hunched over their laptops and scrambling away at emails? What would happen if we flipped these scenarios around? I for one, would love to see my accountant rock up to work in a Hawaiian Shirt; a calculator in one hand, and a piña colada in the other. But what difference would this make?
Results-based work environments, also known as results-only work environments (ROWE) aim to increase productivity by giving employees the freedom to work in the manner that suits them best as long as they produce results. The old paradigm of coming in to work at a set time and leaving at a set time hasn't been the standard for quite some time. Employees regularly have to work long hours, and there is research that shows these long hours may be better spent working from home. The Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College notes that this shift represents a dramatic change from the traditional 40-hour work week.
Humans are innately concerned with what makes up the creative inventors among us. We want to know how to cultivate our inner innovator and nurture those qualities that will serve us both as individuals and as employees.
A lot has been written about Innovation Training in the recent past. At Culturevate, we clearly see the sense of such training, but there are some important conditions that needs to be met for these efforts to generate long-term impact for an organization. Not all companies understand these conditions, which often leads to mediocre results and missed opportunities. One extra difficulty is that a good Innovation Training should be driven by and aligned with several functional parts of a large corporate organization.
Eric Reis first introduced the concept of Lean Startup in 2008. Today Lean Startup is deployed far beyond entrepreneurial circles and is taking root in large, complex organizations looking to improve their new product success rates – and in the process build lean cultures. This is very good news. Too often the processes corporations use in pursuit of innovation can actually erode their capability to innovate. Still, when applying the principles of “Build – Measure – Learn” to initiating Lean practices in corporations, there is room for improvement…and possibly even for a pivot.
The power and freedom that entrepreneurs and their startups embody is reinforced through a constant stream of media highlighting success, purpose and (mostly bullsh*t) bucolic work environments. As the global economy improves, business leaders of established corporate organizations need to consider how they can introduce an entrepreneurial spirit. Intrapreneurs are the answer, and this article provides a high level overview.
When I meet with corporate leaders we invariably get onto the topic of their business challenges. Some reoccurring themes that are increased competition, cost / margin pressures, regulatory hassles, globalization, etc. However, the more recent discussions have centered around one theme. Talent.
Most companies recognize the need for breakthrough innovation – it can change the fundamental bases of competition, “rewrite the rules” of an industry and transform the prospects of the successful innovator. There is no one-size-fits-all model for how best to respond to this challenge. Arthur D. Little surveyed over 80 large organizations to explore how to deliver a consistent pipeline of radically new products, performance features, business models and market space.
In part three of this series Anthony Ferrier considers why organizations are seeking ways to identify, engage and drive their employees towards innovative activities, with titles such as Intrapreneaurs, Innovation Catalysts, Innovation Champions, etc.
In part two of this series looking at ways organizations can support intrapreneaurs, Anthony Ferrier suggests a list of strategies and approaches to improve the effectiveness of intrapreneurs in your organisation.
Fueling Your Employees’ Entrepreneurial Spirit: A New Approach to Intrapreneurs and the Value They Create
Cast your mind back, to pre-2008 times, when bright and bushy tailed graduates would come out of business school looking for roles in the relevant employers of choice. Generally those organizations were large businesses, providing incentives such as expensive dinners, a career advancement path and generous financial packages.
Intrapreneurship: From Playing Hide and Seek to The Dismantling of Classic Hierarchy. Where are You At?
We bet you hear the word innovation at least a dozen times a day, if not more. Every single company seems to be thinking of, planning for, and somehow doing innovation in some way. With so many ideas, frameworks and success stories, how can you cut through the noise and capture what’s most relevant for your company?
Intrapreneurship is vital for all organizations to thrive in the 21st century - equally important for large firms, SMEs, and family businesses. Is there a proven recipe, a one size fits all approach to promoting intrapreneurship?