Saturday, December 4, 2010

The new rules of intrapraneurship

How can your company grow more quickly and profitably? According to a new survey from Ernst & Young, 82% of global business leaders “strongly agree” that the ability to innovate is critical to the growth of their organizations.
But innovation isn't easy. Almost half of respondents say that generating innovative ideas becomes more difficult as their organizations grow in size and complexity.

According to Colleen McMorrow, leader of Ernst & Young Canada’s Strategic Growth Markets, the solution is to foster intrapreneurship—innovation and entrepreneurial thinking throughout the organization. Ernst & Young’s new report, Igniting Innovation: How Hot Companies Fuel Growth From Within, identifies six strategies for fostering intrapreneurship:

1) Set up a formal structure for intrapreneurship. Give people time away from their day jobs to work on creative ideas. And set up formal processes to make sure those ideas go somewhere.  

2) Solicit ideas from your employees. Encourage everyone from all ranks and functions to contribute to innovative thinking.

3) Assemble and unleash a diverse workforce. Statistical research indicates that drawing on people from different backgrounds with diverse viewpoints results in better ideas and better products.

4) Design a career path for “intrapreneurs.” Since these innovators and risk-takers tend to dislike conventional administrative jobs, look for non-traditional ways to advance their careers.

5) Explore government programs and incentives. Don’t ignore the growing number of government-sponsored programs that support innovation. Step up efforts to obtain government funds for research and development, digital creative work and new technology innovation.

6) Prepare your organization for the pitfalls of intrapreneurship. Backing bold ideas is risky by definition. Be prepared to deal with failed ventures, internal conflicts, financial risks and battles over intellectual property. Set risk limits up-front to minimize losses.

Although the E&Y report doesn't highlight it, you should also ensure your organization knows how to win. Make heroes of the risk-takers who dare and succeed. Share the lessons that your organization learns as it transforms raw ideas into profitable new processes, services and products.
“Intrapreneurs in Canada need encouragement, support and resources, as well as the freedom to fail without repercussions,” says McMorrow. “Encouraging the development of high-risk, high-reward ideas within the safety and support of an established organization is what lies at the heart of intrapreneurship.”

by Rick Spence, Profit Guide
Saverio Manzo

About me: I give Economic, Social and Global trend briefings from some of the world's brightest minds at my blog and I also provide true and tested financial planning and wealth advice. Most recently, over the past few years, I have become socially conscious and have been attempting to practise ways in which I can live my life more environmentally friendly.   Along with some truly exceptional friends, we provide consulting and business development for small-medium sized businesses.  In addition, I truly believe in being philanthropic, giving and doing unto other as we would have them do unto us. Some of my fondest resources are from Barry Ritholtz of The Big Picture, David Rosenberg and what Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway is up to behind the scenes, as an example.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What's your mantra?

When I spoke on a panel at a small business event a few years ago, the moderator asked me to offer my best advice for business owners, compressed into a three-word mantra. After thinking for a moment I came up with, 'Make the Call,' which I still think is a pretty good answer. Don’t worry about what might happen, don't wonder about consequences, set aside the fear that you’ll be turned down — just pick up the darn phone.

On Sept. 20 I asked 10 new business leaders for their best advice mantra. We were at the Prince Hotel in Toronto for GrowthCamp, the invitation-only management conference for the entrepreneurs on the PROFIT Hot 50 list.

I was moderating a roundtable discussion with 10 GrowthCamp attendees, all of them business owners struggling with various challenges and eager to share solutions with each other. After we had exchanged shared best practices for managing people, attracting new talent and filling the sales funnel, I asked one closing question:

What final three-word mantra would you offer other business owners?
Their responses, I think, address most of today’s key business challenges:

• Protect your reputation.
• Be proactive, not reactive.
• Persistence is everything – never give up.
• Focus. Niche.
• Personal relationships: know your clients inside-out.
• Monitor your reputation. (If you want to protect your reputation, this entrepreneur said, you have to first know what other people are saying about you, so you can defend your good name. Think Twitter searches and Google Alerts.)
• Listen to your employees and your customers.
• Drive your dreams. (When I asked what that means, the entrepreneur said, “To attract talent, they have to believe in what you're driving for.”)
• Protect your time, and plan. (This entrepreneur wanted his peers to understand that time flies away if you're not guarding it; make sure your workday is well scheduled to give you the time to make reasoned, thoughtful decisions. “Being effective,” says this entrepreneur, “is more of a technical challenge than we think.”)
• Empower your People.

What’s your three-word business mantra? (Take up to six words if you need them.)

By Rick Spence,FROM CANADIANBUSINESS.COM - September 21, 2010