Blog, Innov#8

Innov#8 | 11 October 2016 | $680 Billion Spent on R&D Lottery Tickets


Businesses don’t disrupt.
Organizations don’t disrupt.
Individuals disrupt.

Mark Bidwell


In the world of science fiction, undeads are people who die but return to life as vampires, zombies or other creatures. The business world has its own version of undead: products that came to market dead on arrival or a product that still exists in the marketplace but for all practical purposes is non-existent.

These are products a company should have never launched – either they are an answer to a question no one is asking or they are the wrong answer to the right question.

The Segway personal transporter is one of the more famous undead products. In its first year (2001), it sold far less than the 50,000 units its inventor predicted would sell. While it appeared to be an appealing way for people to travel on a sidewalk, it was priced far too high, at $3,000 to $7,000 per scooter. What’s more, the Segway solved a need that not many people had – at least, not as many as its inventor (Dean Kamen) thought.

Undeads are one of the four types of innovation failure, as a result from not involving customers early enough in the product development cycle- and 80% of companies are not doing that. Check all four types of innovation failure here


Working with startups and entrepreneurs is a critical component of a portfolio approach to innovation. Startups have technologies, talent and capabilities that corporations typically don’t. Partnering with startups can help corporate teams get further faster. Whether it’s to support growth of the core business or to branch into adjacent businesses, an organization’s ability to partner externally is imperative for long term health of the business.

How can this dating between corporates and startups grow into a fruitful relationship?

A startup arriving at a first meeting and talking at length, with a powerpoint and/or demo, about themselves and how awesome they are without asking one thing about the business challenge is probably not the start of a good relationship.

The corporation agreeing to meet without having any idea of what they would be looking for or if they are actually in the position to continue the relationship is also a bad start and why many of these “dates” don’t go very well.

Here are guidelines for engaging with startups beyond the honeymoon phase.


Most intrapreneurship programs focus on what you could call structural or procedural intrapreneurship, which in many ways hints at the structural future of organizations. It is the formalized process of creating new ventures from within the organization, beginning with how you capture signals of change to ultimately launching a new way to serve your customer base, whether integrated or spun off from the original business.

It accelerates the development of new business models by side-stepping normal bureaucratic complexities. Structural intrapreneurship initiatives focus on teaching employees to think like entrepreneurs.

Then, there is cultural intrapreneurship, which is the part that tends to get overlooked or foolishly assumed. It is the part where you teach people to be like an entrepreneur. It is about embodying the spirit of entrepreneurship, about ownership culture, about giving your employees the personal tools to develop resilience and sustained focus on a customer problem to be solved in ever new ways using your organization and its resources to do it.

Cultural intrapreneurship is about your organizational purpose, and about taking it off of the plaque on the wall and making it come to life in the hearts and minds of your employees.

Where are you on the scale from one-time petting projects to culturally embedded intrapreneurship?


$680 billion

The companies listed under the Global Innovation 1000 collectively spent US$680 billion on R&D in 2015.

Money spent wisely? Actually not – it’s more like “buying R&D lottery tickets”, according to Harvard disruption guru Clayton Christensen.

“Innovation processes in many companies are structured and disciplined and the talent applying them is highly skilled.… From the outside, it looks like companies have mastered an awfully precise, scientific process,” he and coauthors Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, and David S. Duncan write in their new book Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice.

“But the results show that, for most companies, innovation is still hit or miss.”


# All successful companies must eventually answer the same question: How to establish new growth strategies and businesses from within the organization?

Based on hisresearch of companies that successfully build new growth businesses, reaching revenues of 1 billion within a couple of years, Marc Sniukas will outline the necessary steps in the volatile and fast paced business environments of the 21st century.

Webinar: The Art of Opportunity (Marc Sniukas) | 20 October 2016 – Sign up here

## As innovation leaders, we’re constantly working in the unkown, figuring things out on the go, whilst managing several stakeholders at many levels and with many interests. We have to operate under current paradigms, whilst creating the new.

That requires unique skills and traits like resilience, agility and grit, as well as the right habits to stay fit. How can you create space for innovation, for yourself, your team and your organization?

Webinar: Creating Space for Innovation (Mark Bidwell) | 27 October 2016 – Sign up here

### No Intrapreneurship program is the same. This webinar will have you evaluating the different building blocks required for successful programs.

From team selection & formation, to curriculum and mentoring structures, to governance and air cover, you’ll leave this online session with a full understanding on how to start building or improving your own intrapreneurship program.

Webinar: Intrapreneurship Program Design 101 (Jan Kennedy) | 2 November 2016 – Sign up here

#### Every week Mark Storm shares his observations and insights on innovation and intrapreneurship.

This week, it’s on design thinking as a panacea. Check the field notes here


# Nominations for this year’s European Corporate Entrepreneur Awards are rolling in from big brands such as Sky, KLM, HSBC and British Gas.

This year, you decide the winners. We’re asking you to vote for your favourite big business innovation online.

# Only THREE DAYS LEFT to get $500 OFF your ticket to Intrapreneurship Conference Silicon Valley.

Check all sessions, speakers and topics and reserve your seat asap!

#8 DUMB?


What’s this, INNOV#8?

Great people, great content – that’s what we have been offering corporate innovators since 2011.

So far, we did send you updates about upcoming events. With this, we aim to provide you with useful and practical insights as well as a glimpse of what’s happening in the global intrapreneurship community.

8 quick updates for innovators, indeed.

If you are hosting a local meetup, launching your book or have a question for 30.000 peers all around the world, let us know and we’ll feature you in a next INNOV#8.

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