On November 3, 2009 SDForum and SAP presented “Enabling Innovation”. Chris Shipley of Guidewire Group moderated panelists Gamiel Gran of Sierra Ventures, Kimber Lockhart of Increo Solutions, Dan Pistone of Bridge Bank, Mark F. Radcliffe of DLA Piper and Jeff Seibert of Increo Solutions. They shared their best practices and lessons learned about fostering innovation and entrepreurship with high level SAP Labs leaders from around the world.
Invention is proving a good idea works. Innovation is bringing that idea to market. Small start-ups can move fast. Big companies have more resources. How do you duplicate the startup/venture capitalist/entrepreneur environment in a large corporation?
Silicon Valley evolved a culture of high risk and failure that is contrary to the traditional culture of corporations. Entrepreneurs expect eighty percent of our projects to fail. They are positive in outlook and pragmatic in practice. Some entrepreneurs have a clear idea of what they want. Others are like sculptors and go through a process of subtraction of what they don’t want. To succeed you must try, fail fast and try again, quickly learning from your mistakes. This is hard to do when you are responsible to shareholders and fellow employees. Create a culture of risk taking, be patient but set milestones and limits the way a startup would. Be flexible. Get ready for radical changes in direction overnight, always aware that the clock is ticking.
An important part of innovation is cross-pollination. This process that seems unique to Silicon Valley is cross pollination. At a large company people may stay at the same position for a long time. Entrepreneurs change jobs are constantly, learning from one situation and applying it to another. They get several lifetimes worth of experience they could never get anyplace else. The more you move, the more you learn.
Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.