The term innovation goes hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs. If you take a look around at the fastest growing companies and biggest disruptors – Tesla, Nest, Xiaomi, Square, Slack, Spotify – they all have one thing in common: they are run by entrepreneurs. For bigger, established companies, the innovation challenge is complex. On the one hand, shifting expectations and behaviors of consumers give people more power than ever before. On the other hand, the business world is rapidly changing, enabled by forces such as digital technology and globalization. For the corporations that have been built around a set way of doing things, they now have to strategically navigate through a minefield of startups, new technologies, and consumer trends that can determine the fate of their business seemingly overnight. It’s a theme we consistently hear: how does a large company become more nimble and entrepreneurial?
At Fahrenheit 212, we believe it’s time for businesses to embrace “Big Entrepreneurship.” It is a new way for businesses to organize and behave in order to become more entrepreneurial and innovative in an era when innovation is tantamount to survival. In our latest report, we explore the five key aspects of this entrepreneurial new world order, providing a roadmap for the toughest hurdles. You can now read or download the full report below.
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For years, being big has mattered. But now, scale has been transformed from a killer asset into a real liability. When it comes to driving growth, one of the most pressing problems facing Fortune 500 companies is that they are Fortune 500 companies. Platforms such as Kickstarter enable new competition to spawn overnight. In a world that favors the underdog and where change is inevitable, how can big companies embrace a new, more nimble approach while still harnessing their inherent scale?
With the urgency to innovate rising, there has come an equal urgency for companies to develop internal innovation capabilities. In the US alone, the number of internal incubators has grown from twelve in 1980 to an estimated 7,000 today. But the success rates of them wildly vary from company to company. It depends on several factors ranging from how the lab is structured, how it is funded, and the types of skills within it.
This enigmatic age group will comprise 50% of the workforce by 2020, and only 20% of them have reached their peak earning years. To remain relevant, businesses will need to innovate their work practices quickly, but for established companies this can be a daunting task. How does a large, traditional company appeal to the Millennial workforce when 72% of Millennials already want to be their own boss?
Emerging market economies are expected to grow three times faster than developed ones over the next few years. An ambitious and aspirational emerging middle class is rising, and they are changing their own futures. In a major shift away from the picture of aid-givers pouring money and resources into charity work, local entrepreneurialism and solutions are delivering big impact. When corporate history books are littered with failures in entering emerging markets, it’s important to understand the nuances of this consumer group and how to build lasting innovations for them.
The Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) position is intended as a way for a company to invest in and institutionalize innovation. But as it stands today, it’s also the best way for a good executive to get fired within 24 months. The truth is that the success or failure of the role is typically not based on the hire. It’s the structure and strategic intention that surrounds it. The CINO should develop a capability, not meet a wish-list for company growth. It’s time to rewrite the job description for the CINO.