Many CEOs know that to truly reinvigorate growth, they have to innovate. They have to be more entrepreneurial. But how?
When thinking about innovation, most people think first of finding a great leader with a great idea. But a great idea can only get you started, and even the best leader cannot build tomorrow's business inside an organization that is fully dedicated to efficient operation of today's.
Most companies already have a surplus of great ideas and capable leaders. More of each will not guarantee breakthrough growth. Companies must shift focus from ideas to execution, and from leadership excellence to organizational excellence.
In Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators from Idea to Execution authors Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble explain three central challenges of building breakthrough businesses within organizations that are already established and successful. You must forget some of what to this point has made your company a success. You must borrow some of your company's existing resources the most important advantage you have. And, because experimental businesses rarely stay on plan, you must learn as you proceed.
A natural instinct is to create a separate organization - one in which a more entrepreneurial culture can flourish. But that leaves far too many questions unanswered. True, the new business unit must be distinct from the core organization. But what distinctions should there be? And how are those differences achieved? Further, distinct does not imply isolated. So where should there be interaction? And how can the natural tensions between new and old be overcome? Finally, how exactly do you learn as you proceed? You may already suspect that your existing planning system is your worst enemy but what is the better approach?
Govindarajan and Trimble offer detailed advice on these questions and many more, based on years of in-depth field research in which they compiled the histories of several high-growth-potential businesses from launch to final outcome at companies like Corning and The New York Times Company. Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators from Idea to Execution is essential reading for any executive within an established and successful corporation who wants to contribute to a transformational but risky new business endeavor.
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