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Change Management

Succeeding Through Intrapreneurship

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Imagine you opened shop right next to your own company with the intention of putting your current company out of business. How would you do it? What things would you change? Spoiler alert: someone is doing that as we speak. If you aren’t reinventing your own business someone else will.

We teach companies to survive and thrive in a competitive environment: to obtain and maintain sustainable competitive advantage.

Idea capital is the most valuable asset you have and it resides in your own people.

  • How well are you capitalizing on it?
  • How good are you at attracting and keeping the best talent?
  • How effective are you at creating individual and team alignment to achieve goals?
  • How well do you foster an environment where those ideas can become your next $10M, $50M or 100+M line of business?

The fact is, the larger you are, the worse you are at all of these (save a few well known exceptions) and the focus becomes more on stability than on agile “intrapreneurship”.

Intrapreneurship is:

  • Creating an environment of entrepreneurship in a larger organization
  • A clear path to greater sales and profits
  • Strategy to market leadership (we all know that, in the dog sled, the lead dog has the best view!)

Fact:

  • 50% of the new jobs being created in the US come from organizations that were started in the previous 5 years
  • As much as 20% of all employees in the US are working for companies that were started in the last 10 years

That means 80% of all US employees are working for older companies or “larger” or “mature” enterprises.

Where do you think the best people want to work? What if you could foster that environment under your own roof?

The larger you are, the more you are focused on:

  • Risk reduction
  • Standardization
  • Economies of scale
  • Maintaining: market share, distribution, customers
  • Protecting the outflow of talent

But you are also challenged with:

  • More nimble competitors nipping at your heels
  • Dedicating financial resources to large, existing initiatives (unable to justify smaller investments that may pay off “some day”)
  • The increasing need to pay attention to externally available innovation or technology
  • Endless meetings (that produce little result)

A culture of intrapreneurship will position you to:

  • Focus on end results (vs. the bureaucracy of process)
  • Make quicker decisions
  • Take calculated risks
  • Identify and develop new markets for existing products
  • Co-create new products and lines of business with customers in new and innovative ways
  • Create a more exciting and compelling internal work environment and external brand

Larger enterprises are able to substantially benefit from more startup-oriented practices and by developing widespread intrapreneurship habits. These are summarized on the following page in 5 categories-Validating customer needs, Building your team, Putting in place a market growth strategy, Executing processes effectively and Generating cash.

Customer Validation Mature companies rely too much on what they think internally. We teach you how to look at you customers with fresh eyes:

·      Truly understand real or perceived pain points

·      Identify unmet needs (= opportunities)

·      Understand how the customer wants to buy (impacts messaging, segmentation, channels)

·      Create customers for life – engage and create pull vs push tactics

Team Building Established organizations get lazy about how they assemble and foster teams. We show you how to:

·      Develop and articulate vision, culture, values

·      Create a great leadership climate

·      Communicate in agile ways

·      Rapidly resolve conflicts

·      Create incentives that align teams to common achievement objectives

Market Growth A habit of larger firms is to market a new product or service in the same way or channels it provides current products and services, and this often fails. We show you how to:

·      Develop adaptive thinking

·      Create a minimum viable product (MVP)

·      Position and approach new markets uniquely

·      Develop lead generation and influencer strategies

·      Evolve a clear communication and branding approach

Process Execution Mature companies naturally want to utilize existing, proven, stable processes. However, these may not be appropriate to accomplish the new task at hand. We will teach you about:

·      Lean process thinking

·      Quality testing plans (iteration approaches)

·      Risk mitigation strategies

·      Change management tactics

Cash Generation New product/service teams may have business models, which call for capital to be raised and “burned” early on before they can start to monetize the new offering(s). Mature organizations need to do the same. We work with your teams to:

·      Develop a solid customer acquisition cost model

·      Develop accurate pricing strategy

·      Develop cash flow based on business model

·      Develop appropriate financial metrics

Summary

By mastering these five core areas, mature companies will benefit greatly from being more entrepreneurial in their thinking and developing an intrapreneurial environment.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at OptimalJon@gmail.com

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One Comment

  1. Roz LMarch 15, 2017 at 5:54 pmReply

    Very detailed content Jon. It is true that entrepreneurs soon forget to about keeping innovation and the competitive advantages over other companies.

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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