Round up of latest #intrapreneur trends

Some very interesting articles over the last few weeks – here they are:


Before you build an innovation lab, answer these 6 questions

From VentureBeat where the article was posted, these pertinent points for why I will be incorporating some of the thinking here in the trend report:

Today, large companies are creating innovation outposts in innovation clusters like Silicon Valley in order to tap into the clusters’ innovation ecosystems.

These corporate innovation outposts monitor Silicon Valley for new innovative technologies and/or companies (as emerging threats or potential tools for disruption) and then take advantage of these innovations by creating new products or investing in startups.


Round up of latest #intrapreneur trends

A list of articles from the last week or so:


After 17 Harvard case studies, Haier starts a fresh spin cycle

Great article on which may be behind a paywall for you so I have copied and pasted two pertinent quotes on some really interesting initiatives/approaches the CEO is driving in his company. This is really taking intrapreneurial activity to another level…

In its home country, the group is re­inventing itself again as a set of open “entrepreneurial platforms”, serving — and served by — hundreds of “micro­enterprises”. Not only will these micro-enterprises compete to design, build and distribute products Haier users say they want, but they will also be able to vie with one another for staff and for capital, from Haier and from outside investors. Haier is, in Prof Fischer’s words, “de-Haierising”.

The chief executive says he now devotes himself to “ensuring our organisation is open to outside resources”. Haier itself, while still providing some central services such as accounting, finance and human-resources support, will ultimately turn into a shareholder in a network of micro-enterprises, he says, owning both majority and minority stakes. In theory, it will look more like a venture-capital incubator for growing businesses than a multi­national manufacturer.


Round up of latest #intrapreneur trends – Finservices continue to shine

Suddenly Every Company Is Becoming A Venture Capitalist. According to data provided by the National Venture Capital Association, more than 20 percent of VC dollars in the third quarter came from corporate venture capital. That accounted for over $2.3 billion in corporate venture capital investments for the period.

How 5 Big Brands Are Partnering with Startups to Innovate IBM’s 2014 Business Tech Trends study of 1,447 companies revealed that “pacesetters” – organizations that set the pace for growth and innovation – partnered more creatively with outside individuals or companies, recruiting less-traditional partners for their efforts. This presents a great opportunity for growth, development, and recognition for startups.

MasterCard Announces Start Path Global Program MasterCard announced it’s inaugural global Start Path class that includes 7 startups that were selected from nearly 200 applicants. MasterCard began their Start Path program in 2014 but wanted to stretch it farther globally.

Santander just signed a deal with a startup building the ‘Facebook of anything financial’ Meniga, an Icelandic startup that makes personal finance apps, on Tuesday announced a deal to provide its money management software to Santander’s customers around the world.

The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in the UK have even stepped into the breech with their Project Innovate which has the following stated intention: “Through our Innovation Hub we want new and established businesses – both regulated and non-regulated – to be able to introduce innovative financial products and services to the market”.


Here’s another company at the game: Target, in Partnership with Techstars, Is Accepting Applications for Its New Retail Startup Accelerator

The key point as follows:

“In a bid to innovate both its online and in-store experience, Target has partnered up with Techstars to create a retail-focused accelerator program.”

So Target are running the accelerator primarily to help innovate its own offering.

And here too another great article on why companies and specifically CIO’s in this case, should work with startups: Why working with startups is worth it

The punchline:

So when it comes to learning what it means to be agile, fast, and tolerant of risk, who better to turn to than those organisations that live by these words every waking moment: The startup community.


Why You Need Lunatics, Experts, and Connectors on Every Team

Original article here. Secrets of Innovation Teams in Established Companies from Nathan Furr, Co-author, The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Startup into Your Organization

Great lessons in what works in startups (first paragraph) but how this needs to be modified for large organisations (second paragraph).

The startup world has started to recognize that entrepreneurial teams based on the corporate divisional structure work poorly. Rather than building teams based on representation from each functional area (e.g. sales, marketing, engineering), it has become popular to talk about creating startup teams composed of a hacker, hustler and hipster (the hacker creates rapid prototypes, the hustler engages customer feedback to capture users, and the hipster frames beautiful user interfaces or connects the team to the important teams). Although this team structure works well for startups working with a blank canvas, it ignores the unique challenges faced by companies with established products and services.

Although serendipity plays a role in everything, the team that produced the 336E H hydraulic hybrid excavator had a very purposeful structure that facilitated their success. Rather than hackers, hustlers, and hipsters, the hydraulic hybrid team were composed of what we would call: lunatics, experts, and connectors. The experts provided the foundational understanding of the core technology and also Caterpillar customers. The lunatics questioned the key assumptions and brought new technologies and approaches to the table. And the connectors brought the two groups together, while connecting them to willing customers and supportive leaders. Ultimately, it was the experts and lunatics that developed the hydraulic hybrid, but the connectors and experts commercialized it.


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