Monthly Archives: March 2011

Maybe Corporate Entrepreneurs Don’t Really Exist

We talk a lot about corporate entrepreneurship – how to stimulate entrepreneurship in the corporation, how to unleash that hidden and pent up entrepreneurship capability that is locked up somewhere in our organisation. I know it is there, I just do…….if we only we unlocked the capability…..

But maybe the idea of a corporate entrepreneur is absurd. Think about it. Entrepreneurship is about thinking outside of the box, speed, agility, lack of constraints, innovation, empowerment, execution. Does that sound like your organisation?

Last week I attended the Kellogg Innovation Network in San Francisco. It was an excellent two days. Outstanding to be honest. Run by Professor Rob Wolcott from Kellogg. And there was a panel of entrepreneurs talking about their experience of being entrepreneurial in the corporation – how they did it, what they thought was the secret sauce of success, etc etc. But not one of them is still within a corporation – they had all left to pursue interests back in “start up land”. So how come?

My theory goes something like this. Real entrepreneurs join a corporation for one reason or another, but very quickly either lose their entrepreneurial flair (it gets whittled away) or they leave. So you have a bunch of people who are entrepreneurial joining, or leaving, at any one time. Real entrepreneurs do not stay in a corporation. They just don’t.

And what about those in the corporation who say they are entrepreneurial, and want to unleash their entrepreneurial flair if only the corporation would let them? My hypothesis? They are just bored!

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Entrepreneurship in China – is it alive?

Is entrepreneurship alive and well in China? Many would argue that entrepreneurship in China is many generations away, as is true business model Innovation. Not so, argues an article in The Economist. According to China Macro Finance, a research firm in New York, the article says, the number of registered private businesses grew by more than 30% a year between 2000 and 2009.

Read the full story here.

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FastCompany: The World’s Most Innovative Companies

FastCompany’s regular ranking of the world’s most innovative companies is out once more. So who wins?

01 / APPLE – For dominating the business landscape, in 101 ways
02 / TWITTER – For five years of explosive growth that have redefined communication
03 / FACEBOOK – For 600 million users, despite Hollywood
04 / NISSAN – For creating the Leaf, the first mass- market all- electric car
05 / GROUPON – For reinvigorating retail — and turning down $6 billion.
06 / GOOGLE – For instantly upgrading the search experience
07 / DAWNING INFORMATION INDUSTRY – For building the world’s fastest supercomputer
08 / NETFLIX – For streaming itself into a $9 billion powerhouse (and crushing Blockbuster)
09 / ZYNGA – For being the $500 million alpha dog of social gaming
10 / EPOCRATES – For giving doctors and nurses instant drug reference

One can debate the criteria to death – but it’s a pretty good list. The entire list can be found here.

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UK sees Broadband as Innovation of the Decade

Broadband and online shopping top The Foundation’s inaugural Innovation Index

• Britons rank home broadband as the innovation that has contributed the most to their lives over the past decade
• Online shopping follows in second place
• Functionality and the ability to save time and effort valued more widely than cost savings or cutting-edge technology
• Facebook and Twitter score poorly

Home broadband is the innovation UK consumers feel has made the biggest positive impact on their lives since the turn of the millennium, according to new research from leading innovation and growth consultancy The Foundation.

In its inaugural Innovation Index – compiled from a survey of 2,243 consumers, weighted to represent UK population* – respondents selected the products and services that had contributed the most and least to their lives.

Respondents were asked to rank their top three and bottom three in order, with 3 points scored for each percentage of the first rank vote, 2 points for each percentage of the second rank vote, and 1 point for each percentage of the third rank vote, producing a final score out of 300.

Most loved: the 10 products/services that have contributed the most to Britons’ lives over the last decade

(positive score out of 300 in brackets)

1 Home broadband (192)
2 Online shopping (94)
3 Google (54)
4 Chip and Pin (49)
5 Digital cameras/photography (39)
6 Online comparison sites (38)
7 Community Recycling (32)
8 Health labelling on foods, e.g. traffic lights (29)
9 Low-cost air travel (25)
10 Consumer GPS/Sat-Nav (24)

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The Rise of Generation C: Implications for Innovation Acceleration

Excellent report by Booze&co. on what they call Generation C: People born after 1990, digital natives, highly connected, living online, using social networking as second nature, being able to consume vast amounts of information, and living in what Booze calls a “personal cloud”. The premise is that by 2020 an entire generation will have grown up in a primarily digital word, with technology as we know it today just part of their life, rather than an add-on. Booze says the C in Generation C stands for Connect, Communicate and Change.

You can read the full article here.

What are the implications for innovation acceleration if this is the case? If you endorse the premise – as I strongly do – that innovation is powered by collaboration and connectedness – that innovation acceleration happens just by the fact that people are connected in an ecosystem, then we are in for a meteoric rise is the innovation capability of Generation C. Do you agree?

And if this is the case, what structures, if any, do we need to put in place to capture and harness this creativity? Can the corporation as we know it cultivate and environment where all of this innovation potential is harnessed and exploited?

The answer is – not today. Next year? or 2020?

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