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    3 Things Intrapreneurs Should Focus on in 2023

    Start with these 3 fundamentals to up your game as an Intrapreneur

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      Vaughan Broderick

      Vaughan Broderick

      Now that 2022 is now firmly behind us. It’s important to focus on what you need to do to make progress.

      I believe that 2023 is a pivotal year for many organisations.

      Learning to explore opportunities to stay or move ahead of the competition, while preparing for a potential recession (World Bank) will be critical.

      So, if you’re an innovator working inside an organisation, this is for you.

      Today, we’re diving in to the 3 Things Intrapreneurs Should Focus on in 2023.

      Let’s go!

      Build a steady flow of ideas

      The more ideas that flow, the more opportunity for developing the next innovative product or service.

      The thing is, it is virtually impossible to tell a good idea from a bad one from the outset.

      What’s important is creating an environment in which ideas are free-flowing and valued.

      In a recent book ‘Ideaflow’, from renowned d.school design thinking experts Jeremy Utley and Perry Klebahn say that, ‘future success is detemined by the quantity of ideas’.

      Ideaflow Cover

      And, “every problem, is an idea problem”.

      Look at it another way, “no ideas, no tomorrow”.

      Jeremy and Perry also have identified a simple measure for creativity. They recommend using ‘number of ideas over a given amount of time’.

      What they suggest is giving yourself a way to benchmark generating ideas. For instance, try creating as many responses (email headlines) as possible over two minutes. Repeat periodically, to see how your ideaflow is progressing.

      The important point is, that you are after the quantity of ideas, not the quality. Validating ideas comes later.

      No matter what the problem you are trying to solve, there is a useful practice to help generate deas.

      Try these 3 simple steps:

      1. Choose a problem and study it.
      2. Let your subconscious mind work on the problem (sleep).
      3. Write down as many ideas to solve the problem as you can.

      Some additional techniques that will help build a flow of ideas in your organisation are:

      • Set up a community chalkboard. Try different locatons and be sure to not leave it blank so as to discourage people from leaving ideas.
      • Crazy 8’s. Give people a piece of paper that when folded in half three times, you’llend up with eight segments. Give 8 minutes to sketch as many different ideas as possible.

      Focus on Value Creation

      Innovation is the implementation of creative ideas that have value.

      The two key outcomes of value are either increased revenue or reduced cost.

      During recessions many organisations focus on the later.

      Innovation skills increase resilience which I discuss in a recent post.

      Innovation builds resilience

      In a nutshell, resilience can only be built through the experience of doing difficult things, failing, and going again.

      Developing a growth mindset plays a huge part too.

      Where the difficulty compounds is when teams all need to become more resilient. And, the bigger the team, the bigger the challenge.

      Regularly trying to innovate by having a pipeline of ideas to test will provide fertile ground for increasing the ‘resilience factor’ of your team.

      Having more resilience has greater flow on effects like, new ways of working and adapting to change.

      This is where design thinking skills and mindsets have been invaluable for my resilience.

      Focus on Belief Systems

      Innovation is a belief system

      In my experience within complex environments, the #1 reason innovation fails is because of incompatible belief systems.

      According to McKinsey, 90% of new product or service launches fail.

      Despite 84% of CEO’s believing that innovation is critical to growth.

      The flip side is:

      80% of business models are at risk.

      Only, 6% of CEO’s are satisfied with their innovation performance.

      I was astounded. Why does this happen when:

      • Technology is readily available.
      • Talented people are everywhere.
      • Resources can be accessed.

      In my mind, truely innovative companies rely on the belief that:

      • We can & will make an impact on people’s lives.

      • We are all aligned on the same vision.

      • We are all here for more than a job.

      • We can achieve difficult things.

      • We experiment early & often.

      • We test our assumptions.

      • We value collaboration.

      • We value diversity.

      • We are one.

      So, what can you do about it?

      Here are 6 practical steps that I recommend:

      You have complete control over what impact you want to make. So:

      1. Upskill yourself. Learn innovation skills.
      2. Choose that side project. Just big enough to matter.
      3. Gather like-minded people.
      4. Make your work visual.
      5. Get small wins and build momentum.
      6. Champion the cause together.

      The stats don’t have to hold true.

      As an intrapreneur you can be part of the successful 10%.

      Innovation can be done with the right belief system.

      Two useful tools to use on any innovation project are the value proposition canvas and the business model canvas.

      The value proposition canvas helps to understand customer jobs (what they want to get done), pains and gains.

      In this environment (and anytime) getting close to customers is a winning strategy to uncover insights.

      The business model canvas helps to describe your business model in a simple way. It is collaborative (good for breaking down silos), can be rapidly tested and iterated until you have a competitive business model.

      FYI – I have recently updated the business model canvas for 2023.

      That’s all for today friends!

      As always, feel free to reply to this email or reach out to me on LinkedIn as I’d love to hear your feedback.

      Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next week.


      PS. Let me know what challenges you are having or what you would like me to right about next?