Thu. Feb 21st, 2019

Corporate Entrepreneurs

Organizations today have to work very hard to stay competitive and survive in the marketplace, but just surviving is not good enough. Companies want to grow in size and ultimately grow in value to their shareholders, but the ways of doing that are pretty limited. The only true, sustainable and virtually unlimited source of new growth for any organization is innovation.This innovation is brought about by modern day Corporate Entrepreneurs.

The world leaders in innovation and creativity will also be the world leaders in everything else.

-Harold McAlindon

Somebody has to lead the innovation effort. Whether it’s at an organizational level or at a team level. And the answer might surprise you. It’s a collaborative effort between the commercial and the technical side of things. Are you interested in leading innovation within your company? Do you desire to create and launch new ventures within an established organization? Even if the answer to any, or both, of the above questions is partially/slightly yes, then, you can rightfully claim to have the mindset of Corporate Entrepreneurs.

Innovation propels companies forward. It’s an unlimited source of new growth and can give businesses a distinct competitive advantage. Therefore, it is very important as a worker to set yourself aside from others in today’s world. If the project for example, is very early in it’s flow it’s probably good to have the marketers lead it at that stage when they’re still formulating an understanding of the market. But then at some point, that team leadership can transition maybe more to the technical, to the engineering side of things where a lot of science has to be developed or brought in to, to make the thing work. At some point your team leader can be from finance.A corporate engineer needs to know how to navigate the barriers to creating, developing, and sustaining innovative new businesses and programs within established companies or organizations.

The Most Innovative Companies:

A very popular topic in the media today is which companies are the most innovative. You see lists of companies that are the most innovative. Everybody likes to point to the most obvious companies, companies like Apple, etc. For an increasing number of established companies, creating new businesses and programs within the company is an imperative for success. Maturing technologies and aging product portfolios are requiring established companies to create, develop, and sustain innovative new initiatives.

Corporate Entrepreneurs

In Developing the Opportunity for Corporate Entrepreneurs, an organization should:

  • Introduce the skills for identifying and analyzing entrepreneurial ideas within a corporate environment;

  • Examine entrepreneurial thinking within its employees with an awareness of entrepreneurial mindset, entrepreneurial motivations, and entrepreneurial behaviors;

  • Cultivate seeing entrepreneurially among its workers with attention to industry conditions, industry status, macroeconomic change, and competition; and

  • Champion acting entrepreneurially within the corporate environment with an understanding of value innovation and opportunity identification.

Resistance to Corporate Entrepreneurs:

You get into a discussion about innovation and at some point the topic of resistance comes up. Innovation and resistance somehow seem to go together. Understanding the problem is key, and many times business people get overwhelmed with the fear uncertainty and doubt created by legal. Standing up to naysayers (even within your own company) requires courage. People have to have that experience to break down that resistance. Then the resistance factor can really kick in. A team invests in innovation, they come up with a lot of great ideas, but then they’ve got to get them through the pipeline. That’s where the resistance can really hit, simply because there’s competition for resources. Other people want to get their ideas into the market too. The managers of a company are always making the tradeoffs between what are the best projects, what are the projects that are really going to push us forward to meet our financial goals.

Corporate Entrepreneurs and OrganizationsInnovation is about making the world a better place. People have angst about and they fear change, and that’s really at the root of some of this, what is called the market resistance. Then the final level of resistance we would say is that Corporate Entrepreneurs get in to the market place, and there is change with innovation. People are going to look at your new-fangled ideas and they’re going to scratch their head and go, “What do I do with this? How does this affect me.” Innovation causes a certain disruption and an excitement in to the marketplace. It attracts attention and it attracts some resistance. Yes indeed, resistance happens with innovation at a lot of levels. The great innovators are willing to face it every step of the way.

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