Friday, 31 January 2014

Entrepreneurship: is a full time job with 100% motivation

Starting up a new business is hard to do and even more difficult to be a successful new business. Why is it that many people starting of? What makes the difference between a Winner and a Laggard?
Oké, one logic explanation to start is that I got fired and nobody wants to hire me and the only thing I can (not wanted to) do is put a sign in my front yard with my name and twitter account on it hoping for the best. I know I’m good (or at least I was good) but the problem is that nobody knows it, or even worse nobody needs my goodness anymore. Instead of being an entrepreneur I become a day-worker for hire. So just starting on your own doesn’t mean you are an entrepreneur?
What are the key characteristics of an entrepreneur? Much is well documented in the startup owner’s manual from Steve Blank and Bob Dorf.
Knowing to start with untested hypotheses. It starts with a vision of a missing job-to-be-done (something what customers need to get fulfilled but can’t find yet). Although he has clear ideas of product or service to get the job-done, the entrepreneur will start immediately checking his vision with real customers.  The entrepreneur will spend more time with customers than inside his office.
Understanding the need for speed, learning and iteration. From the start you understand that the business plan will not survives the first contact with the customer. The first day, you will learn that the brutal facts in the market is different as will be the next day and you need to adjust your product, service and process to the willing customers.
Monitoring the cash-burn-rate, time (number of months cash in the bank). Understanding the key financial metric that only matter to do the job. In the time you have left, you need to find the right business model to survive. Understand (structured process for testing) what is absolutely necessary to spend time and money on to get your money machine up and running (business model hypotheses).
The motivation and courage to get into action. This is the most important internal driver for any entrepreneur to become a winner versus a laggard. Watch the nice clip of Tom Corson-Knowles explaining what I mean by that.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Entrepreneurship in Corporate Organizations

Entrepreneurship means acting in a special modus: experimental, connected to the outside, being authentic and looking for mastery. How does this fit into the typical corporate culture of global organization?
The drive for Innovations in often described in strong marketing language in order to invite employees to come with new business opportunities. But what will happen if you really want to go for this new opportunities? Experimental is oke as long as it fits into our company compliances rules. Connected to the outside world is good but as long as we can protect our knowledge and ideas. Being authentic is fantastic as long as it fits in with our personal development plan template. Mastery is important but needs to be profitable on short notice. As we experience so often, there is a huge gap between the (marketing) company values and the daily practice of balancing between freedom to take risks (entrepreneurship) and the security of our environment (hold on to your job and material benefits).

In the great story of Eric Ries's Lean Start-up we can learn how to practice entrepreneurial skills in a hostile corporate environment.



Sunday, 10 November 2013

Increase the entrepreneurial capabilities in your organization

The idea that just a business owner is an Entrepreneur is long passé. In the fast changing business environment every owner, executive and employee needs to develop entrepreneurial capabilities. Nobody can avoid taking risks, adapting to changes and make severe pivots when necessary. Entrepreneurship is a Mastery what can be trained and developed. Internal as well as external stakeholders will look at them for vision and decisions to go forward. Entrepreneurship always aims at the same: increasing skills to adapt to changes in order to create new opportunities.
Entrepreneurship in a different business environment:
Start Up Entrepreneurship
Identifies what and how to growth fast and become profitable. Understand and implement Lean Start Up principles. Building the right team, understand and control the financial cycles.
Entrepreneurship in SMEs
Understand the change drivers in the current business model and develop new business opportunities. Mobilize the key (in- and external) stakeholders in the transformation towards the target business opportunities.
Entrepreneurship in Corporate Companies
Identifies the right hot spots for entrepreneurship. Design and implement a successful environment for (In- and Outside) entrepreneurs. Understand the different way to lead and manage entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship in Non for Profit Organizations
Understand as a executive member how to create new ways to capture value for the environment reflection the objectives of the organization. Become an ambassador of entrepreneurship to external stakeholders.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Again, a fantastic new book has seen the light “Innovation as Usual”.



Innovation as Usual: How to Help Your People Bring Great Ideas to Life, written by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg and Paddy Miller.

In the Sunday Times, Hannah Prevett Published (24 March 2013) a strong article based on the outcome of the book. She summarized the book with the key message that is that focus beats freedom. See the following parts of the article:

When organisations urge their teams to think creatively, employees are often given no guidelines — they are simply told to “think outside the box”. But sometimes a little direction is much more useful in creating a culture of innovation, the book argues.

“There are these perceptions that if you want people to be creative, it’s just about giving them all the freedom in the world. That might work in some settings — if you are an R&D company, for example. But my experience is that, if you give people total freedom in a regular company, that’s paralysing.”

In the book, the authors explain that employees are used to making micro-decisions as part of their day-to-day duties. But when they are taken out of that environment, they will come face to face with choices that are unfamiliar and make them feel uncomfortable. This can lead to inertia.

The theory has been borne out by empirical research. A study undertaken by the authors in 2011 with Koen Klokgieters, vice president of strategy and innovation at the consultant Capgemini, found that the failure of companies to direct people’s search for new ideas may be the most widespread barrier to innovation.

The researchers solicited the views of 260 executives worldwide, most of whom had the word “innovation” in their job title. Only 42% of the companies surveyed had an explicit innovation strategy, and just 55% of the executives demonstrated an awareness of any systems they had in place to help employees innovate.

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg gives you a snapshot of the six key steps to getting more creativity and innnovation from your employees as presented in his book via several videos:
1.Focus, 2.Connect, 3.Tweak, 4.Filter, 5.Stealthstorm and 6.Persist.







Saturday, 5 January 2013

Evolution of Innovation management will be published on the 15th of February 2013

A new book of Evolution of Innovation management will be published on the 15th of February 2013, edited by Alexander Brem and Eric Viardot. The book is about the fact that Innovation is seen as a key driver for performance and growth in business. It provides a strong competitive advantage and is one of the best ways to speed up the rate of change and adaptation to the global environment. Concurrently, the topic of innovation is also gaining increased visibility and interest among academic communities worldwide.


However, some of the challenges of innovating are remarkably consistent and recent times have shown the emergence of new ways for stimulating and

managing the innovation process, especially from an international perspective. Even if these processes are taking place in very different industries, there are many parallels in successfully managing them.

The new book explores these new routes and assesses their value both for markets and companies. More specifically, the book is organized around three themes:
• Innovation Strategies
• Innovation Management Tools
• International Perspectives

Together with Robin Chu (team member in my Business Innovation team and one of our top strategic analyst) I wrote chapter 15: “Creating an Environment for Successful Innovation - A Management Consultant's Perspective”

To view detailed content of the book, please visit Palgrave

Notes on Contributors

Symbiotic Innovation: Getting the Most Out of Collaboration; R.J.Thomas & Y.Wind

Performance Measurement of Co-Creation Initiatives – A Conceptual Framework for Measuring the Value of Idea Contests; V.Bilgram

Measuring the Success of Open Innovation; E.Brau, R.Reinhardt & S.Gurtner

Can SMEs in Traditional Industries be Creative?; J.M.Zabala-Iturriagagoitia

Scenario-based Learning Architectures as a Management Tool; N.Pfeffermann & H.Breuer

Social Network Analysis – an Important Tool for Innovation Management; G.Drexler & B.Janse

The Evolution of Mobile Social Networks through Technological Innovation; V.Ratten

Exploring the Role of Early Customers in the Commercialization of Innovation; F.Frattini, G.Colombo & C.Dell'Era

Managing Communities of Practice to Support Innovation; S.Borzillo & R.Kaminska

Joining Innovation Efforts using both Feed-forward and Feedback Learning: the Case of Japanese and Korean Universities; I.Oh

Innovation Management Reflections: a Brazilian Market Perspective; F.A.Salum, R.S.Reis & H.Ferreira Braga Tadeu

The Global Importance of Innovation Champions: Insights from China; A.Kriz, C.Molloy & B.Dennes

Frugal Innovation; P.M.Banerjee

Flexible Working, Mobility and IT Innovation and ICT in 2012 – The Case of Flexible Working; R.Costa-i-Pujol

Creating an Environment for Successful Innovation - A Management Consultant's Perspective; K.Klokgieters & R.Chu

Conclusion; A.Brem & E.Viardot

Friday, 26 October 2012

Co-Creation: a new profession becomes mature

In 2010 Capgemini Consulting together with several co-creation promoters, started the Co-Creation Association.


‘It aims to further develop and enrich the knowledge on co-creation, in order to boost the development and professionalization of the discipline, both in business as in scientific research. It has recently become a Special Interest Group of the PDMA. Co-creation is defined as the act of involving customers and/or stakeholders in the innovation, marketing or value creation processes of private or public organizations. Co-creation has become increasingly popular with brands and organizations looking to source fresh ideas for developing new products or creating more engaging and authentic communication’. (source)

For the third year in the row, at November 8th 2012 the Co-Creation Awards will be announced. The 2012 edition of the Co-Creation Awards is set to benchmark excellence in co-creation for businesses and non-profit organizations, on a global scale. The Co-Creation Awards will celebrate successful implementation of co-creation projects and will reward the best use of co-creation for product, service or process innovation as well as marketing & communication in the private and public sectors. (source)

Winners of the first two years are: (2011) NikeID, Heineken Open Design Explorations, Philips Mediasuite and Share an Idea (video); (2010) DSB – The Movie, Sara Lee’s Open Innovation efforts, Ontwikkelzelf Lab by Verzekeruzelf, and Second Bloom by Heijmans.

The jury members of 2012 are:

Jeroen de Kempenaer (PDMA NL - Chair of the Co-Creation Awards 2012 jury); Frank Piller (professor of management and the director of the Technology & Innovation Management Group at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology); Gaurav Bhalla (an innovation, strategy, and marketing professional with global experience as a multinational executive, business consultant, entrepreneur, and educator, author of the book “Collaboration and Co-Creation: New Platforms for Marketing and Innovation”); Jaco van Zijll Langhout (Principal Consultant Digital Transformation & Innovation at Capgemini Consulting. He is one of the founding fathers of the Co-creation Association and last year he has chaired the award).

Co-Creation Awards 2012

Date: 8th of November

Where: Capgemini Utrecht Netherlands

Time: 14.30 – 18.30

Click here to register

At 17:00 CET the awards will be granted. You can follow this via livestream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/co-creation-forum