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Implementing a Corporate Entrepreneurship Strategy for Sustainable Growth

It's no secret that the business world has always been highly competitive and continues to be with no end in sight. Organizations are increasingly having difficulty getting a leg up on the competition because almost everyone has access to the same resources. Corporate innovation is the quickest way to gain on the competition.

All the innovative ideas you've successfully intertwined with current real-world variables are only a small part of a strategy. Envisioning sustainable growth is one thing, but you must know how to implement a corporate entrepreneurship strategy to get results. It sounds instinctive, but a surprisingly large number of businesses are misguided regarding what steps to take.

If you're one of those businesses, you're in the right place. Companies that emphasize creating and implementing new business models grow their operating margins faster than The Champs music career (remember they had that one song, that one time, Tequila, I think?). Let's take a look at the steps you need to leap from stagnant to sustainable growth.


A Corporate Entrepreneurship Strategy Approach

Build a Corporate Innovation Team

Business savvy leaders understand the need for teams for such significant projects (that’s why someone made them the boss, afterall). A corporate entrepreneurship strategy is incredibly far from being a one-person show because it's a colossal shift that affects the entire company. Therefore, solidifying an innovative and reliable team from the beginning is foundational to success.

The basic structure of your core team should include:

  • The decision-maker: A project manager should be appointed to make decisions and connect with executives for support as necessary.
  • Connectors: Team members who provide access to essential partners cut lead times and smooth out miscommunications. They should have significant organizational networks and company tenancy.
  • Executors: Any reliable employee with the skills to mockup different business models can assist any experimentation with the ideas at hand and share their knowledge and insight to successful execution. 

The best thing you can do is ensure you build a team with the drive and passion to successfully implement a strategy that will produce sustainable growth and support the company in gaining a competitive edge.

Clarify Innovation Goals and Objectives

You already know what your goal is—to achieve sustainable growth through a corporate entrepreneurship strategy. Not only will establishing clear targets keep everyone on track when things get hectic (and they will), but it also allows teams to benchmark progress against pre-set goals. 

Here are a few ways to get you started:

  • Run competitive benchmarking. How does your business’ innovation and entrepreneurial growth compare to the competition? (pretend you’re James Bond and spy on the enemy)
  • Ensure every goal remains relevant to your initial ideas and mission.
  • Identify the resources and team members you need to accomplish the goals.
  • Encourage innovation throughout the entire implementation process. Your ideas are great, and bouncing them off your employees can make them even better.

Setting and clarifying goals and objectives is a necessity for any business to be successful. It provides smoother transitions and better collaboration among teams, all while preventing distraction from the end goal.

Structure Corporate Entrepreneurship Culture

According to an article by Tallwave, “the biggest challenge facing many corporations is often the corporate culture itself." It cannot be stressed enough how critical it is to structure corporate entrepreneurship culture to support effective, sustainable growth and intrapreneurial development. This is where we dive deep into the core of corporate entrepreneurship, leaning into its relevance to implementing your strategy. (Don’t worry, we’re almost to the exciting part.)

You’ve already:

  1. Developed your ideas and visions.
  2. Built a strong innovation team.
  3. Established clear goals and objectives.

Here’s what needs to happen next. One of your principal tasks as a leader is to create an environment where innovative thinking is supported. Promoting an intrapreneurial culture by encouraging creativity and innovation helps teams embrace the risk of failure and inspires them to take calculated risks.

These beginning steps are at the heart of whether your implementation will be successful or not. So, with the foundation built, let's get to the part everyone has been waiting for.

Execute Your Corporate Entrepreneurship Strategy

You may be wondering why executing your strategy is number four on the list, but as with any business decision, adequate development must come before anything else. Trying to implement such an intricate strategy that is meant to change your growth trajectory should not, under any circumstances, be a shot in the dark.

Even the best corporate entrepreneurship strategy can fall short if the execution isn't done right. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review states that "90 percent of businesses fail to reach their strategic goals, which researchers believe is due to a gap between strategic planning and execution".

While keeping those numbers in consideration, it’s time to get the party started. Strategy execution is simply the implementation of the strategic plan you just created in the last three steps. But how is it implemented? The newly established innovation team takes action on the goals and objectives made in an inspiring corporate culture. Daily structures, systems, and operational goals are already in place to set your team up for success.

When a movement like this is rolled out, it will without a doubt face resistance from other employees and stakeholders in the company. The key is to understand how to overcome it, starting with involvement. Nobody wants to be left out—it’s a shitty feeling. You know that cliche about how the one awkward kid never gets picked for dodgeball in gym class? He never wants to play because he's always excluded! And he misses out on all the wonderful things about pegging your classmates with a painful rubber ball. 

Maybe that’s just a lost memory we’re reliving, but the point is you want them on your team to join in the fun. Perhaps a more professional example would be with KICKBOX at Swisscom (those became part of the Jury for the final pitches), creating quick wins and making them known in the company to gain support from the C-Level and protect the budget of the movement.

Bottom line: Teamwork makes the dreamwork.


Sustaining Growth After Execution

You want to gain traction and collect feedback during the implementation process of corporate entrepreneurship. By consistently assessing and re-evaluating during the process, you'll be able to fine-tune your goals and objectives with any changes that come to mind along the way, whether due to the evolving business environment or new innovative ideas projected by your team.

Once you've gained the traction and are on the path to success, it's time to kick it into high gear! This will help reinforce your company's initiatives and set the stage for leadership continuity, leading to sustainable growth. It's essential to evolve and tweak your corporate entrepreneurship strategy as time moves forward. Remaining stagnant or relying on the basic foundation you've planned initially will age out of effectiveness. On the other hand, going through changes with the right tools will always lead to growth.


Take Actionable Steps with rready

rready provides innovation management as a service to create lasting cultural change because that's what it takes to achieve and sustain growth. Innovation doesn't just happen, and corporate entrepreneurship strategies don't implicate themselves. You already have your company's ideas and big plans, so put them into action and keep the inspiration flowing. We've served hundreds of companies looking for internal solutions to drive their success, and we'd be happy to help yours. Whether you have questions, are interested in a non-committal demo, or want to know more about a specific product—feel free to contact us anytime.

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