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Showing posts with label Corporate Entrepreneurship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corporate Entrepreneurship. Show all posts

Innovation Impact Roadmap



For 20+ years, I taught in the University of Arizona entrepreneurship program which, at one point, was ranked #1 in the world by several major business publications. 

On the whiteboard in my office, I drew a roadmap of the new venture creation process. It was, in essence, the syllabus for our entrepreneurship program in graphical form. [I was the keeper of the whiteboard, not necessarily the author of all that was there! I had some pretty wise and wonderful UA collaborators as well as entrepreneurship gurus from around the world from which the information was collected.]

Students and colleagues at UA would ask if they could take a photo of the whiteboard. Of course, yes! And I did the same. I took a photo, but ... I wanted to add a bit more here and there. And then I got carried away!! So ... the diagram you see today is the result.

One of the struggles we encountered, in teaching entrepreneurship concepts and building new ventures, is that the process is not particularly time-linear. It is often iterative, a back-and-forth process. Hence, a roadmap outlines the elements that need to be addressed, but not necessarily a hard path in doing so. At some point, the venture team should visit all the "attractions" on the map, but the order of the trip may vary depending on the nature of the venture.

The "main highway" is the mission statement, highlighted in yellow.

Essentially,this roadmap for innovation commercialization is an entrepreneurship checklist, ... the key elements that should be considered and addressed when putting together a plan for a new business venture.

PDF, JPEG, and PNG versions are available here: InnovationImpactRoadmap.com

--Jim

[7.26]

The Critical Success Factor

There are multiple factors that directly influence the health and wealth of any given business venture. These factors may be diverse and different depending on the nature of the business. The Critical Success Factor, however, is common to virtually all business ventures.

The Critical Success Factor: Earn a Profit Solving Customer Problems Better than the Competition. It is do, or die. A venture dies for one of three reasons: 1] It didn't earn a profit; 2] It didn't solve its customer's problems; 3] It wasn't better than the competitive alternatives.

Earn a Profit Solving Customer Problems Better than the Competition ... The Critical Success Factor for all business ventures.

Critical ... having the potential to become disastrous
Success ... attains prosperity
Factor ... a circumstance that contributes to an outcome

* Earn ... Teamwork!  A business employs a team of people working together to continually and profitably solve customer problems better than competing alternatives. Healthy, growing ventures follow a clear business model. An educated, experienced, collaborative, communicative team with key core competencies is paramount to success.

* Profit ... The monetary value captured by a business is appropriately called earnings. After all expenses are accounted, earnings become profit. Profit is a reward for doing a good job solving customer problems. A key source of growth funding for a business venture is earned profit. While the profit reward is "financial", the reward can and should have other elements, too. In a healthy venture culture it can actually be "fun" going to work and being part of the team, and their may well be some "fame" that results from delivering valued solutions to customers.

* Solving ... Solutions to customer problems are typically combinations of products, services, process, and methods. However, the world keeps changing as do customers and competitors. Solving customer problems, new and old, is a continuing process for sustaining a healthy venture.

* Customer ... Customers are the primary source of revenue for a business venture. Some business ventures may have only a few key customers, others may have many. A group of customers that share similar traits comprise a market segment. Many business ventures may serve multiple and varied market segments. A business venture exists to serve its customers.

* Problems ... Customer needs, wants, desires, and situations that can be adequately addressed  and resolved in a reasonable time and expense are good opportunities for a business venture.

* Better ... Continually improving value is critical to sustaining a competitive advantage. Scientists and engineers often think about innovative solutions in terms of the fit, form, function, features, and performance. The entrepreneur thinks in terms of the benefits customers will receive. Value is measured by comparing the benefits to the price. Value can be increased by delivering better benefits to customers, by lowering the price, or both. Customers decide what offers the better value. In the long run, the products, services, processes, and methods that deliver a better value win the business.  In short: Value = Benefits / Price

* Competition ... There are (almost) always competing solutions and ventures from other sources that are directly comparable to our solution. This competition includes indirect alternatives, substitutes, and replacements that could serve customer requirements. Best to assume we have competition, even if we don't yet know who or what. Competition is not always a bad thing ... competitors can help validate and build new markets, and sometimes competitors can become collaborative partners.

Perspectives on Corporate Entrepreneurship

  1. Companies must constantly innovate ... without innovation they tend to do what they've always done and run the risk of getting stale and becoming competitively disadvantaged.
  2. For a company to thrive, it must tap the individual initiative of its team members ... this must be a major area of focus.
  3. On any initiative being pursued, team-member buy-in is absolutely essential for success.
  4. If a company want its people to be intrapreneurial in their thinking, they must be kept well informed about the company's processes and visions, and the impact of these processes and visions on profit.
  5. Leaders must give team members everything they need to be self-motivated and take the initiative to succeed.
  6. Companies must reward the creativity of their people.
  7. If a team member owns an initiative, he or she should be accountable for all aspects of its success.
  8. Companies must encourage resourcefulness and out-of-the-box thinking.
  9. All thought leaders must be constantly focused on customer needs and now to satisfy and exceed them.
  10. Leaders and managers must work to maximize team-member involvement in all key initiatives to tap the collective intellect of the team.
[Thank you, The One Minute Entrepreneur]

Critical Communication Channels

At the core, every successful business venture looks like this. Of course, large complex organizations can look much more complicated than this basic diagram. But fundamentally, all successful business ventures consist of these key elements and have these critical paths of communications.








The "alphabetical" communication channels are external, between the key business venture teams and customers:

A] The Research and Development Team communicating with customers to determine what customer problems, needs, wants, and desire the venture should address

B] The Marketing Team communicating with customers to promote current venture solutions, product, services, and processes that solve current customer problems, and obtain feedback from customers relating to the performance of the venture in solving their problems

C] The Sales Team obtaining and processing orders from customers, and customer relationship management

D] The Operations Team building and delivering solutions, products, and services to fill customer orders

E] The Finance/Accounting Team collecting payment for the value delivered to customers by the products, services, and processes provided by the venture

F] The Venture Management Team soliciting feedback and inputs regarding the relationship between the customers and the venture

The "numbered" communication channels in Figure 5 are internal, the information being shared between departments in a business venture.

1] Marketing and Innovation Development Departments share information about customer problems, needs, wants, and desires, and the benefits, fit, form, function, and features of new products, services, and processes being created in the organization.

2] The Marketing and Sales Departments coordinate information about the benefits, fit, form, function, and features of currently available solutions, products, services, and process that match customer requirements, including the price of the offerings.

3] The Sales Department communicates information about customer orders to the Finance/Accounting Department such that the customer is properly billed when the solutions, products, and services are delivered.

4] The Sales Department communicates information about customer orders to the Operations Department such that the appropriate products and services are delivered to the customer.

5] The Operations Department communicates information about product and service delivery to the customer so the Finance/Accounting Department can accurately bill the customer.

6] The Innovation Department (often called the Engineering Department) provides the Operations Department with bills of material and assembly instructions for creating the solutions, products, and services being sold to customers.

[This diagram is part of The Critical Success Factor ... the core mission of every successful business venture.]

Ten Commandments of a Corporate Entrepreneur

  1. Come to work each day willing to be fired.
  2. Circumvent any orders aimed at stopping your dream.