Innovate like a startup
Corporate organizations are pretty good at ‘small’ innovations based on their existing products, technologies, or markets. X detergent, now with revolutionary stain remover! Large companies are less intense at taking entirely new paths, leading to pioneering proposals and new customer groups. Why is that? And are there ways that companies can strengthen their innovative power?
I’ve always been personally surprised that a food giant like Ahold Delhaize didn’t introduce a meal box subscription much earlier. They left the development of this proposal ten years ago. Holafresco, a Berlin startup, become a global player.
I’d say Ahold had all the cards to beat HelloFresh. Knowledge, distribution, customers, and cash. Of course, it may be that Ahold deliberately lets the food box segment of the market run. However, something else may have happened, and this case also illustrates the lack of innovative capacity of Ahold and similar corporate companies.
Balance between ‘core’ and ‘future growth.’
In her new book, ‘The 10x Growth Machine’ (aff.), Start-up and innovation expert Misha de Sterke paints a picture of what can go wrong when corporate companies start to innovate, or worse: when they don’t, they do. In essence, there are three areas in which companies can focus their innovation.
Optimizing the core: limited adjustments to existing proposals within existing markets.
Renew the nucleus: adjusted or new proposals within existing markets.
Future growth: completely new proposals, within new markets.
All three variants are essential, which means that the right balance must be struck, with due attention to disruptive innovations that can ensure future growth.
Recent history shows that finding the right balance does not always work well, Kraft Heinz En. Since the merger between Kraft Foods Group and HJ Heinz Company, the new Kraft Heinz Company has focused too unilaterally on cost savings since 2015 and has forgotten to develop new products and markets. The consequence of this short-term strategy: record losses and a low share price.
In addition to the wrong strategic choices, there are also other reasons for the failure of corporate companies’ innovation. Perhaps the biggest problem where large companies can fail is that the innovation team does not receive enough attention, resources, budget, and appreciation from the central business organization. In itself, the skepticism of the existing organization is not so strange. After all, the current business is now making money, while it remains to see which innovation projects will be profitable.
In The 10x Growth Machine, De Sterke describes a model with which companies can find the right balance between their core business and innovative projects.
What is immediately striking about De Stoke’s model is that, although the ‘cultivation machine’ of innovation gets built into the existing organization, it can also function autonomously in a sense. The growth machine is responsible within the organization for initiating, validating, and expanding innovative initiatives. They can incorporate successful projects into the existing business or continued independently (lengthen)
How do corporations innovate as a new company?
These are the five essential innovation lessons from The 10x Growth Machine book.
- Build an innovation portfolio
- Use a risk board
- Measure the right things
- Follow an innovation process
- Create the right mindset
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