I will be presenting my research on innovation and intrapreneurship to the Advanced Practices Council (APC) of the Society of Information Management. This presentation is based on my recent book, Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas within Your Organization, and will take place in Atlanta, GA on January 22, 2013.
An organization’s ability to compete and continuously renew itself is contingent upon how well it leverages the idea creators in its midst. When organizations fail to leverage their employees' ideas and when employees stumble in their ability to effectively manage those ideas, the loss of energy at all levels – from individuals to organizations and even to society – is tremendous. In this presentation, I will outline how to drive change within organizations through a focus on intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurship-focused organizations give employees resources, time, and budgets to work on their own ideas because they know that creating space for their employees to be inventive may yield the most valuable contributions. Moreover, these organizations do not simply give employees space and then forget about them. They know how to hold employees accountable for their ideas, support employees in their efforts to develop and commercialize ideas, and encourage the intrapreneurial spirit. Drawing on my research and experience consulting with thirty global organizations, I outlines ways to manage all types of ideas, including blockbusters with the potential to create radically new external products and services, and more incremental innovations for improving internal processes. With practical frameworks and real life examples for both employees and managers, I will help you to identify the value in your own ideas and those of others to ultimately benefit your organization. In today’s competitive environment, an organization is only as good as its ability to manage ideas. Successful organizations will be able to design, build, implement, and sustain intrapreneurship processes that are superior to those of their competitors. It is through these processes that organizations will be able to act quickly and effectively to introduce new products and services, avoid blind spots, and attract and retain the best minds around.
I have been doing some reflection on my research interests and the connections between the various scientific domains in which I work. I will be on a panel, Working on Mars while Living on Earth - Balancing Demands across Disciplinary Boundaries, with Sandeep Purao (Penn State University), Ajay Vinze (Arizona State University), and Steve Sawyer (Syracuse University) at the 22nd Workshop on Information Systems and Technology where I will share some of my lessons learnt in doing interdisciplinary research and holding academic appointments in various disciplinary units from business schools to information schools and urban studies to public administration.
Have you ever struggled with getting the best from your employees? If you have spent even minimal time managing people, your answer is probably going to be 'yes.' Managers often struggle with getting their employees to give their best or to punch above their weight. This topic has been a focus of many dissertations, books, and pundit advice sessions. Among the multitude of reasons why managers struggle with their employees, I submit one of the most critical: most managers lack capabilities to leverage their employee's ideas. Based on my research and consulting with over 30 global organizations (see Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas Within Your Organization), here are five simple good habits to internalize , if you want to get the best from your employees and their talent.
- First, design an idea-friendly environment for your employees.
- Second, be an advocate for your employee's ideas.
- Third, connect your employee to networks that can harness their ideas.
- Fourth, collaborate with your employees on experimenting with their ideas.
- Fifth, mobilize your networks to support the diffusion of your employee's ideas and expertise.
I enjoyed my recent visit to Toronto. I had the privilege of addressing a sold-out crowd at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. If your organization is interested in having me come by and talk about my recent book, Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas Within Your Organization (University of Toronto Press, 2011) please send me an email. See below for a brief excerpt from my talk at the Rotman School of Management.
I will be speaking on Building Innovation into Organizations as a Competency as part of the Entrepreneurship Experts Speaker Series @ Rotman on April 3, 2012. The series is hosted by the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. My talk will be followed by a book signing event for Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas Within Your Organization (Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2011).
To register for the event, which includes a copy of the book: LINK
To learn more about the speaker series: LINK
As the year wraps up, I have been taking time to relax, reflect, and plan for 2012. I have been always intrigued by the questions we ask ourselves when we reflect. Questions, and our ability to engaging in the questioning process, both introspectively and with others, is critical for the development of our cognitive, emotional, and spiritual capacities.
I will be traveling to Vienna (Nov16-19) to moderate a panel at the Hidden Champions in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Dynamically Changing Environments. The focus of the panel will be on designing collaborative alliances for sustainable innovation. I will share results from two of my prior project, I4I (Ideas for Innovation) and Intraprenuership. This conference is hosted by CEEMAN (Central and East European Management Development Association) and IEDC-Bled School of Management and in cooperation with RABE-Russian Association of Business Education and Polish Association of Management Education FORUM. The event will take place at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber congress center.
I have entered into an agreement with the management team of iHear Network to join their advisory board. I am excited to help iHear Network realize their vision of developing an innovative app for smart phones. The iHear app uses text-to-speech integration to connect users to relevant stories, news, and conversations. iHear Network recently appointed Paul Simons, a former University of Washington iSchool graduate student of mine, to serve as the CEO. Please click here for the press release - iHear Network Press Release.
My latest book will be released in the Fall by the University of Toronto Press.
As an employee, you suspect that your best ideas are valuable and could greatly benefit your organization. Management also recognizes that a company's ability to compete is contingent on how well it leverages its employees' ideas. So, why are individuals at all levels of organizations typically poor advocates for ideas? Intrapreneurship provides an engaging guide for both managers and employees on how to direct the flow of ideas and foster a culture of entrepreneurship within their company's existing structure. Based on my research and experience consulting with thirty global organizations, Intrapreneurship outlines ways to mobilize all types of ideas - including blockbusters with the potential to create radically new external products and services, and more incremental innovations for improving internal processes. With practical frameworks and real life examples for both employees and managers, Intrapreneurship will help you to identify the value in your own ideas and those of others to ultimately benefit your organization.
You cannot stay competitive and lead your industry unless you mine the potential within your own organization. Desouza makes the case for identifying and empowering talent to steward innovation from within. Intrapreneurship will help you tap your company's greatest potential.
---Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance, National Bestselling Author of Making Ideas Happen
We are an organization that has built a reputation for innovative products that are game changers. Innovation calls for tenacity and rigor. Intrapreneurship is filled with ideas and solutions that will enable you to build a robust innovation program that is embraced by every employee in your organization. It is a must read for executives who want to distinguish their organizations by their capacity to harness ideas in each and every employee. Read it, now!
---Keith Allman, President, Delta Faucet Company
Intrapreneurship offers a fresh and timely perspective on how to harness – and not kill – the power of innovation that exists inside every organization – including nonprofits. In his book, Desouza masterfully weaves academic research together with real life stories across industries to show us how to foster innovation and turn the best ideas into reality. His fusion of innovation and implementation into a single, pragmatic intrapreneurship framework is where the magic happens. This book is a must read for employees and leadership alike whether you are trying to increase profits, save the world, or both.
---Neal Myrick, Executive Director, Groundwire
In corporate America, brilliant ideas that make it to market often seem like serendipitous events, and often they were. An idea found its way through the territorial land mines of the organization that more often sabotage innovation. In the world of annual capital budgets, large scale initiatives and dash boards that drive our incentive compensation, how do we as leaders foster a reliable and safe culture where innovation gets plenty of oxygen? Desouza in Intrapreneurship provides an excellent framework to foster such a culture. More importantly, this framework calls us to be servant leaders, to be leaders that help our organizations harness the intellectual power of our employees and to say “we appreciate your ideas, we welcome your ideas, we make it possible for you to work on your ideas”. Innovation need not be a serendipitous happening. It can be baked into our organizations as a competency. Desouza provides us an excellent guide to help us build and nourish an Intrapreneurship competency in our organizations.
---Weldon "Butch" Leonardson, SVP & CIO, Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU)
Intrapreneurship is a driven from the bottom-up based upon employee initiatives. Desouza argues that ideas are at the heart of intrapreneurship. He richly illustrates his ideas from today’s businesses and incorporates theory to develop a roadmap from conception to products and services. The continuing process is: generation and mobilization, advocacy and screening, experimentation, commercialization, diffusion and implementation. There is no silver bullet, but a rationale organizational process. Desouza challenges the thinking executive to go beyond the usual organizational notions to a new way of thinking about how to realize intrapreneurship in your firm.
---Dr. Richard M. Burton, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Innovation is a key strategic priority for most large companies, and most executives today have realized they cannot just give responsibility for innovation to their R&D group or their business development team - they need to make innovation everyone’s job. But how do you do that? The evidence suggests most companies actually do a terrific job of killing off the entrepreneurial endeavors of their would-be innovators, through their standardized procedures and risk-averse mentalities. Kevin Desouza’s book, Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas within Your Organization, provides the solution. He gives guidance to the people with bright ideas, to help them build support and get their ideas taken seriously, and he offers advice on how to manage and organize a company to give these would-be intrapreneurs as much support as possible. Drawing from his own practical experience as well as decades of academic research, Desouza’s book is a must-read in companies that care about making innovation everyone’s job.
---Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategic and International Management, London Business School, co-founder of the Management Innovation Lab (MLab), Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management Research (UK), and author of Reinventing Management (2010)
As competition intensifies globally, no corporation can afford to ignore the potential of corporate entrepreneurs, or ‘intrapreneurs’, to drive growth and continual renewal. Desouza provides a new look and important contribution to the field of innovation, and he does so in a way that should be of keen interest to executives, intrapreneurs and aspiring intrapreneurs across industries. Not only does Desouza explore new territory, he does so in a highly readable, applied manner drawing from both research and practice. Intrapreneurship will enable employees and managers to overcome typical, and costly, roadblocks faced when transforming ideas into commercially viable products and services.
---Robert Wolcott, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kellogg Innovation Network, Northwestern University
By proactively engaging managers and employees in the innovation process Desouza shows organizations how to successfully move ideas from concept through to implementation. Enabling them to harness the power of their own ideas to reduce costs, improve efficiency and generate new business growth. Desouza uses real world examples, personal insight and research to illustrate how it is done. Desouza’s book provides a pragmatic and realistic roadmap for transforming the way organizations generate and implement new ideas, internally and externally. The book provides a simple and reliable process for building Intrapreneurship as a core competency. Executives, managers and intrapreneurs will benefit from applying the principles and practices outlined in the book to achieve an innovation edge.
---Susan Foley, author of Entrepreneurs Inside, Managing Partner, Corporate Entrepreneurs, LLC.
Are you frustrated with the fact that companies often talk about the need to generate and collect their employee’s ideas, but in reality they lack tangible tools and processes to efficiently leverage these ideas into real projects and products? Despair no more! In his new book Desouza shows us how innovative companies do not only promote generation of ideas, but encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of their employees by supporting their efforts to develop and commercialize their ideas, both internally and also externally. This book is a must for all managers who are struggling to design effective innovation processes and for employees who want to learn the science, and art, of pursuing ideas to their full potential inside their organization.
---Miloš Ebner, Direktor strateškega inoviranja/ Chief Innovation Officer