The Twitter offices in Chelsea, New York provided the most perfect, inspirational backdrop for our June Uncomfortable Breakfast with a focus on bringing entrepreneurial innovation to life in large corporate organisations.
The room was packed with standing room only as we welcomed a diverse group of disruptive innovators from a range of companies including AB InBev, Mastercard, Munich Re, Grey Advertising, The Lean Start Up & PepsiCo.
Together the speakers provided personal experiences, provocative points of view and rich learnings to a captive audience.
Despite their diverse experiences and backgrounds there were 3 key themes that emerged which will resonate and hopefully inspire not only the innovators but marketers everywhere who have the urge to take that step towards a braver approach.
It’s all about the people
...It may sound like a cliché but it’s true and they matter.
If you nurture and support the right people in your organization the rest will come. As Deborah …from Mastercard said:
‘It’s about grabbing those people from all over your organization who are gravitating to doing these new things..who are seeking out inspiration from outside to bring inside'
Entrepreneurship is everywhere…when you change the context that people operate, watch them flourish!
It’s not always the Crazy People either…the notion that a small group of magical people are the only ones who can innovate is alienating the potential of so many others in your organization - you need to blend the ‘crazy’ people with the rest and then watch the magic happen.
Sometimes we think that those who bring disruptive change to an organization are the ones who stand out - the ones who constantly challenge the norms - but it’s not always the case, was the clear perspective from our panel discussion.
Provide the freedom to experiment
Elliott Susel from ‘The Lean Start Up‘ organization provided a wealth of insight from the incredible work pioneered by this organisation.
The idea of failure and it’s acceptance or not within large organisations is becoming tired and is being replaced by a much more positive idea of ‘experimentation’, which might actually support those risk takers out there.
Reward the culture of experimentation; have a clear way to show your support and encourage them to learn fast, pivot and kill if there is no future.
In Elliott’s words: “ the only failure is to experiment and learn nothing”.
An Entrepreneurial Mindset makes things happen
It’s a mindset that’s open to trying multiple ways into a problem, to inventing new learning tools, to starting small and seeing if we can sell one item and then the next one and build from humble beginnings.
We heard of the Groupon story where they spent one year, 12 whole months, selling nothing and then managed to sell 20 pizzas and the rest is pretty big history. As Ruth from Remix the Future provoked with her perspective on what truly is entrepreneurship within a large organization.
It’s someone who can deliver no matter how ambiguous the environment around them. Someone who creates solutions rather than throwing them over the fence. Gets into the trenches with the troops and gets stuff done.
If you weren’t inspired before, it would be impossible post this morning’s discussion, not to be motivated to go out there in your own organisations and find your tribe who can drive the entrepreneurial potential that’s just waiting to be unleashed!
By Ciara Dilley, senior director, transformation innovation at PepsiCo