I'm working with a global pharma at the moment who have an agenda around 'entrepreneurialism'. It's a big ask. Global heads get together for a couple of weeks at a time, discussing what it means, how to do it - and then coming up with processes and procedures to put into place! It kind of defeats the object.
Tapping into the entrepreneurial talent that may lie within an organisation is no easy thing to do. The likes of Google who give the opportunity of working for 20% of your time on non-job role areas is a great example. That requires several things: guts, trust and a mindset of the leadership team that really gets what it takes to be innovative.
There are 2 types of innovation being talked about at the moment: Sustaining Innovation and Disruptive Innovation. Both are important and both can have catastrophic effects on an industry if not taken seriously. You only have to look at the disruptions to industries such as journalism, newspapers and music, to name but a few. Long established industries that have experienced major disruptions in how they operate. Today anyone can be a journalist - start a blog and start writing. Do some research, post it on FB or tweet about it and hey ho, you're a journalist, making news. Journalists these days turn to twitter to find breaking news! Newspaper sales have fallen drastically as people become more digitally focussed. You don't need to buy your news these days - the news finds you, in all sorts of places. How many cars are built with CD players these days? Nowadays, your car will come equipped with a USB drive enabling you to play your MP3s - can you see the knock on effect? Disruptions have knock on effects.
Disruptive Innovation enables you to create new markets - it's unpredictable, it's exciting, traditional business methods don't work here. It requires edgy leaders who can not only understand the concept of disruption, but can enable their internal Intrapreneurs the space, lack of process, lack of bureaucracy to be bold and experiment. That's a tough call when you have shareholders to answer to. It's why many disruptions have come from 'insignificant' small start-ups. They are unencumbered by the corporate machine. They have fresh thinking, automony, energy and are very often the Gen Ys and Zs now emerging in the marketplace.
To counter this, large companies tend to go down the route of Sustaining Innovation - understanding the problems within existing markets, trying to improve performance, lower costs and create incremental changes in a predictable market, where traditional business methods are sufficient. It's commendable and do'able - it's a safe option! It's also very needed - in the right way, with the right levels of employee engagement.
If you want to know more, take a look at our TCI suite of programmes, helping organisations become more innovative, engaged and entrepreneurial. www.VASA.eu.com/strategy