Creating a Culture of Innovation

In a landscape where entrepreneurial talent is scarce but innovation abounds, the bridge between groundbreaking ideas and tangible customer value lies with entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. To cultivate a culture of innovation, it’s imperative to not only identify and nurture these entrepreneurial spirits but also to integrate them strategically into organizational functions. By embracing inclusive practices, prioritizing employee engagement, and emphasizing customer-centricity, businesses can effectively attract, retain, and develop the entrepreneurial talent crucial for driving sustainable growth and success in today’s dynamic marketplace.

For every 1000 people, there are only three with entrepreneurial talent. There is an oversupply of innovation and an undersupply of entrepreneurship.

Premise:

  • In order to create a culture of innovation, you need to attract, retain, and develop entrepreneurial talent.

Definitions:

  • Inventors: create discoveries and breakthroughs.
  • Entrepreneurs/Intrapreneurs: optimism and determination to create customers. (e.g., Wayne Huizenga: Waste Management, Blockbuster, AutoNation)

Innovation has no value until it creates something a customer wants. Entrepreneurs/Intrapreneurs are the connectors between innovation and creating customers. They take a current product/service and make it available to those who are not served or who are underserved, or they take a new idea and build a new demand.

5 Key Strategies to Attract, Retain, and Develop Entrepreneurial Talent:

  1. Assign entrepreneurial talent to strategic job functions (less than 10% add the most strategic value).
  2. Be inclusive of all generations (2020 Workplace): frequency of job change; technology; work- life flexibility.
  3. Be a “great place to work” employer. Minimize miserable employees because they create miserable customers. Out of 100 million full-time workers in the US, 20 million are actively disengaged.
  4. Attract, retain and develop great bosses. Nearly 1 in five bosses are horrible. The average employee spends 15 hours a month complaining about his or her boss.
  5. Focus on customer engagement. When customer engagement increases, sales increase because customers will: buy more frequently; spend more per visit; pay a higher margin.