Don’t just take my word for it though.
Here’s some post-workshop feedback from one of my clients:
From: █████ Sent: Friday, December 13 To: █████ Subject: Workshop feedback Morning █████, I hope you are well this morning. Some feedback from yesterday’s session with Colin. We went through a few exercises in the morning session that questioned why we want to develop this product and what problem we are solving for the corporate and the professional. He shaped it in such a way that you start thinking strategically like an entrepreneur, as if this was our own start-up venture that we had to think about all the ground work that needed to be done before we went to market with our product. One of the key exercises for me was to write down why this product would fail. It made me really think and approach this in a different way as realistically the points that we all noted down could become a reality if we fail to identify these in the early stages. What I learnt from this exercise was that if we are going to fail we need to fail fast and learn from the failure so that we can address the issue and get up and running as quick as possible. We don’t have the luxury of time as there are other platforms out there that are already operational. Luckily that don’t cater for everything that we do. Colin also shared some key online marketing tools and thought leaders in the industry and showed us a couple of great approaches and tricks as to how we can gain the maximum out of our marketing campaigns both to corporates and professionals. This approach got me thinking and I believe we can tweak ███ to offer a more valuable product to professionals and corporates thus increasing the numbers on the platform and helping us a achieve critical mass and revenue. I believe that we have an influential market platform and that ███ will transform over time and new features and enhancements will be added to the platform from the feedback we receive giving it the power and momentum to become a global power house in the digital age. I really enjoyed the session with Colin as I have an entrepreneurial spirit and it really touched a passion of mine. Thank you for arranging this session for us. Regards ████
I can’t stress enough how much of a head start employees that apply these ideas in their companies have, because the vast majority of their peers don’t think like this.
Most companies create an environment which encourages employees to apply their skills but refrain from doing anything particularly innovative.
So if your willing to pop your head above the parapet and you really want to make a difference, try what Michael suggests.
1. Be prepared to ask the basic questions to really understand what the problem is that ’needs’ to be solved. You’ll be surprised how often this leads to substantial changes in everything from the high-level strategy to the features backlog.
2. Ask yourself how an entrepreneur would solve that problem. In fact, even better, go ask an entrepreneur to explain how they would solve that problem. You may not be able to apply all their ideas without breaking a ton of internal policies, but you’ll still likely end up with a more elegant solution.
3. Carry out regular imaginary future retrospectives to test current assumptions. I cover how to do that in this video.
4. Fail fast. Remember, you do not have the luxury of time, so don’t waste it trying to keep everyone happy. Focus on delivering the most important stuff, to the most important people and cut the rest.
Doing these four things puts you on the path to becoming an intrapreneur. It’s not for everyone, though. The corporate antibodies will attack hard and often force intrapreneurs to leave.
Then again, if you are courageous and want to have an impact, give it a go.