Archivio per autore per: dbardolet

What companies get from Corporate Entrepreneurship

Reading time: 6 minutes

20 Apr
20/04/2017
Foto del profilo di David Bardolet

by David Bardolet

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

Corporate entrepreneurship is a rising issue among executives. An increasing number of multinational companies are sponsoring “hackathon”-like events, screening potential investments in start ups or setting up corporate incubators to engage internal and external entrepreneurs. Moreover, the participation of corporations in venture capital funds – of their own or as limited partners – has recently experienced a sharp increase. For instance, the percentage of corporate venture capital on the total VC market in the U.S. has gone from 7% in 2008 to 13% in 2015. Yes, corporate entrepreneurship is a “hot” new thing.

Except for the fact that it is not really new. Since the 90s, companies have regularly engaged in various forms of interaction with start up communities and internal entrepreneurs, with varying degrees of success. One recurring fact in these past efforts, however, is how little they seem to last. For instance, the average life of a corporate venture capital unit is below two years. Similarly, corporate incubators and idea contests are announced with great fanfare only to be quietly downscaled or shut down relatively soon after, when the company’s cash becomes a bit more scarce or someone asks the question: “Why are we spending money on this?”. Often, it turns out they were doing it just for immediate media visibility, without any clear strategic objective. What is it that makes these efforts so unstable? Why can’t corporations be more consistent and patient in their approach to identifying and developing entrepreneurial ideas inside and outside their organizations?

In this article, I begin outlining the contours of a more comprehensive map of corporate entrepreneurship programs, their outcomes and the measures that might lead to a more effective method to evaluate and improve corporate entrepreneurship initiatives.

Leggi tutto →

Why strategy needs more experimentation*

Reading time: 6 minutes

28 Apr
28/04/2016
Foto del profilo di David Bardolet

by David Bardolet

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

In a recent article, David Collis makes an interesting attempt at combining the two old and seemingly-opposed views of the strategic process: the top-down analytical approach that implements a plan carefully chosen by the top management of the firm and a bottom-up emergent approach that shifts gears continuously in reaction to what managers on the ground are experiencing. His conclusion is that start-up companies might benefit from using the traditional analytical process to set an initial vision and strategic direction that later can be refined and adjusted by using typically emergent Lean Start-up tools. All in all, a worthwhile point for entrepreneurs to consider.

What Collis does not address though is how the deliberate and emergent approaches can also be combined within the strategic process of more mature and established companies. The majority of those firms are very adept at strategic planning but notoriously clueless at managing emergent strategy. In a way, the increasing interest in corporate entrepreneurship might be seen as another chapter in the periodic realization that mature firms do not know how to innovate their business models and products within the rigid frames of their planning process. So how can those firms become more open to emerging internal entrepreneurship?

Leggi tutto →