Create not pools, but an ocean
Why ‘lone wolf ’ intrepreneurship does not work and what the new method is, explains Doug Hall, author, Driving Eureka!
Innovation is a relentless pursuit for every successful organization, cutting across geographies and industries. And many are driving disruptions by promoting intrepreneur teams too. Doug Hall argues this is a flawed approach, benefitting only a select few. Innovation needs to operate in a broader realm—one that encompasses all and promises a level playing field.
For 35 years, I consulted with global corporations on the selection and development of intrepreneurial thinking within corporations. The theory was that if multi-nationals could get just a few people to think entrepreneurially a transformation in business results would result. Today, I believe that this was a mistake. This article explains why I feel that igniting small teams of intrepreneurs does not work. It also explains what I am observing does work.
About five years ago, I embarked on a study of the root causes of innovation success and failure. My data included those from over 25,000 innovations and quantitative measurement of the innovation skills and attitudes of hundreds of thousands of managers.
The data taught me that true return on investment from small teams of intrepreneurs was devastatingly small. Specifically, ideas developed by intrepreneurs lost 50 percent of their value when they interfaced with the corporate ‘system’ during development. A Fortune 20 corporation found nearly identical results when they analyzed their history.
Initially, intrepreneurship teams generate the perception of success. This is because they spend the majority of their time on the innovation as opposed to ‘the system’.