Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Initiate Intrapreneurship Via Systems Lens

Intrapreneurship is embodying risk-taking and more radical changes, helping the company develop either the new business or the unique capability to create revenue.

Due to fierce competition and frequent disruptions, intrapreneurship becomes a new venture for well-established organizations in their efforts to catalyze innovation, cultivate a startup culture, substantiate competitive positions, affect the market landscape, and drive new revenue growth. 

To improve the success rate of innovation, organizational management needs to understand the systemic, systematic aspects of intrapreneurship, apply a structural framework approach to build differentiated competencies and accelerate performance and speed.

"Systemic" relates to "from within" or the genes of the organization, hence it ties to cultural and leadership aspects of intrapreneurship: For many companies, innovation is still serendipity because there are quite a lot of “soft” ingredients which decide the effectiveness of innovation. A corporation needs strong intrapreneur leadership and culture to sustain cross-boundary engagement to spark creativity and discover external ideas; most importantly, nurture a culture of innovation. Innovation management is the art as it allows a great deal of interpretation and latitude. Intrapreneurship as a type of innovation requires leaders to spend time on thinking and acting strategically, and explore “systemic” factors for making good decisions in every crucial turn or twist in innovation management. Technically, making a decision is just to take effective action, if based on consideration of the situation, is systemic. If it is instinctive, or the default approach of an individual/organization then a decision is not made in each case, and it isn't. Intrapreneur leaders can add a new dimension of vision in making the right choice for balancing the business’s short-term gain and long-term win by explaining the big why clearly, articulating the strategic rationale behind the venture, and making adjustments accordingly.

Strong intrapreneur leaders can bring optimism to influence the organization’s culture, break down bureaucracy, linear knowledge box, idea bottleneck, or mono-color culture, facilitate cross boundary communication and collaboration, encourage innovation, inspire positive substance and style. Gaining a systemic aspect is important to improve effectiveness and flexibility of management as managers who are confronted with rapidly changing environments and market situations will have the time to think systematically before they act; and they need to verify the assumptions that a good innovation strategy will necessarily lead to desired consequence. Not only do they need to lead the great teams for transforming novel ideas to achieve their commercial values but more crucially, they are also able to “walk the talk,” develop innovation principles in association with practices in a field of entrepreneurship activities and forming its content as an intellectual management discipline.

"Systematic" relates to capacities of hard methodologies, structures, practices, and tools of intrapreneurship: Practicing intrapreneurship means enterprises should get smarter and flexible in building capacity and developing dynamic capabilities and building unique business competencies. Organizations have limited assets, resources, talent and time. The systematic aspect of intrapreneurship focuses on the hard success factors of innovation. An established innovation model and defined structure are essential to managing innovation in a corporation. Capacity planning needs to be part of the corporate innovation management discipline.

Innovation management has a scientific part where a lot of things are proven, repeatable, and methodology that can be effectively used, etc. In fact, the robust process and tools that enable an entity to generate winning concepts on a consistent basis is the prerequisite for sustaining advantage and growth. Besides processes, practices, methods or tools, practicing intrapreneurship in a large organization doesn't mean getting rid of all rules. Instead, a high-innovative business has more disciplines, not less. Still, there's a delicate balance of process and flexibility, standardization & creativity. Innovative companies adopt a spiral approach to intrapreneurship or business model innovation, suggesting a loosely structured, circular process that allows companies to connect with the various points of the spiral in different ways and integrate systemic and systematic disciplines seamlessly for reaching innovation management maturity.

A structural framework approach depicts innovation as a system, rather than a traditional process: Innovative leaders systematically address the innovation strategy agenda, encourage themselves and subordinates to practice out of the box thinking and bring fresh perspectives and new designs to enhance intrapreneurship. Forward thinking organizations cannot think in terms of single thread serial actions alone nor can they give undue priority to areas that are covered by the tactical implementation of the innovation strategy only. There is a need for innovation methods or tools around, but they neither create nor replace the culture, leadership, commitment, reward system, etc. Innovation Management needs to establish a framework that includes varying components such as strategy, process, culture, talent, and risk management, etc, to optimize budget and resources, build a balanced innovation portfolio with the right mix of incremental innovation and breakthrough innovation for enlightening customers and achieve high quality results over a sustainable period of time.

In essence, corporate innovation is about exploring the alternative way to grow the business. Trends are just a means to an end for successfully innovating business models and making a profit. Create a disciplined, managed space for developing and testing new models, products, and business approaches. A comprehensive innovation framework enables structural risk management as well. There are strategic risks, systemic, and systematic risks (financial risks, operational risks, or regulation risks, etc.) in innovation management. The primary focus of the risk management process would be to identify and control those risks that can be addressed; identify blind-spots, fix root causes, and shift from risk mitigation to risk intelligence.

Intrapreneurship is embodying risk-taking and more radical changes, helping the company develop either the new business or the unique capability to create revenue and improve the top line growth, and promote & sustain business performance and renewal the business energy.


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