Tools for Corporate Entrepreneurship

What a positive response I’ve got from you on the previous blog! Thanks a lot for your encouraging emails and comments. Some of you asked to talk about the “tools for implementing corporate entrepreneurship. Paul Burns and I had another discussion, which is enclosed for your review and feedback. It all sounds very jazzy and cool to talk about introducing corporate entrepreneurship in an organization and yes, it can bring positive changes such as:

  • Creation of a new business within an existing business
  • Transforming existing businesses through renewal of key ideas
  • Innovation

But actually implementing it – is not an easy task. Before proceeding with the introduction of this concept in the organization, it is important to bring all the members of the organization on board.

In order for corporate entrepreneurship to be effective and work well it must be operated and be accepted at all levels within the organization starting with the CEO. It is, therefore, about everyone in the organization, including the CEO, working towards and meeting the organization’s mission, their aims and objectives, as a result of their innovative culture, structure, and systems that have been created and implemented into the organization in order to generate new innovative business.

Once organizations become old they lose that zest and spirit for innovation. Everyone becomes set in their own practices and procedures. Many times this leads to stalement and missed opportunities. Once everyone settles in that comfortable position it can become hard to pull them out of it and make them excited about change and innovation. Therefore it is important that to have corporate entrepreneurship, a company must introduce such strategies and procedures that motivate people to continuously look towards creating new and exciting things. Innovation should be part of the organization’s culture so everyone would feel compelled to work towards the same shared goal.

Two kinds of entrepreneurships can be introduced in a company based on the type and age of the company: surface entrepreneurship and deep entrepreneurship. These two lie at the ends of the same spectrum. In implementing surface entrepreneurship, some specific steps are taken that are meant to focus on parts of an organization rather than on the whole. This is usually done by mature organizations that do not want to upset their existing systems. They form an entrepreneurial team that can come up with new and innovative products and services without affecting the existing procedures. These new products/services can be added to the existing portfolio. This could also be used as a first step in implementing deep entrepreneurship.

The latter approach is usually taken by young organizations which have not become so set in their ways. They try and create an environment of entrepreneurship; it could be seen as a shared vision by the employees and the management. It’s what drives the organizational spirit. The important point is to create an environment that would be conducive to such initiatives.


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