Innovation through shock therapy for organisations


Is your organisation’s right to exist on the line? What’s the expiry date for your core services or products? Which developments do you lose sleep over? Face up to the confrontation and help your organisation to get over these fears. House of Performance (HofP) is experimenting with an alternative change model based on this simple principle: begin a number of start-ups that do precisely what keeps you awake at night.

Innovation for companies isn’t the same as change management

Innovation is sometimes mentioned as if were merely an extension of continuous improvement (or Lean, or whatever you choose to call it). First get the basics sorted out, then continuously improve, and after that you and your organisation can start thinking about innovation. It sounds quite logical, because an innovative company demands a different culture than organisations that still need to sort out the basics. But this approach doesn’t fit in with the primary need for innovation, which is to at the very least keep up with the pace at which the market and society itself are changing.

There are various shortcuts that you can take to make your company resilient in the face of disruptive change. And to even bend this change to your advantage. Unlike change initiatives ‘from inside out’, whereby people think in terms of the potential for improvement, and in improving the profit & loss account for the year to come, these shortcuts put the entrepreneurship and nerve of C-level leadership to the test.

HofP works from this standpoint: “You have a vision for your company. So what do you need right now to move your organisation in that direction?” But if several disruptive ‘opportunities’ are involved, how do you translate these into executive power? The ‘bypass’ that HofP’s advisors have been experimenting with for some time now is one whereby you place people from your organisation in a start-up outside the organisation, with a single mission in mind: to challenge the mother ship. And we focus that mission on issues that keep the leadership awake at night.

Small satellite companies in orbit

The literal and metaphorical external location of the team creates two essential preconditions for innovation:

  1. Creative space and time. Many organisations operate under strict rules and KPIs. What do these do with the creative space and time for experimenting? Being able to quickly set up start-ups allows you to create a rule-free zone for validating innovative ideas, business models and products in the market.
  2. The need to make mistakes. Most organisations have a culture or political system where it’s not done to ‘go off-track’, and where failure is potentially damaging to your career. The start-ups serve as pilot projects where people learn things quickly, sometimes by failing. These learnings are brought back into the mother ship. For example, you might move one part of an end-to-end customer journey into a start-up, and allow it to offer your existing customers a revolutionary kind of service. Or the start-up might demonstrate that you can successfully add certain products or services to your current portfolio.

innovatie implementeren

The start-ups compete with you, using their unique combination of substantive knowledge and entrepreneurship to conquer more and more of the market (or a new market). Perhaps one of your small satellite companies is sitting on a golden egg. Maybe it will even eventually beat the mother ship, at which point resources can be transferred to allow you to upscale further.

HofP can help you to set up these pre-fab, start-up businesses by using smart methodologies such as the Lean Start-up Method, Agile, Business Model Canvas or others. We will also provide a big injection of entrepreneurship and energy. Would you like to know more about our vision on implementing innovation? Follow us on LinkedIn by clicking this button:

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About the author

We ensure that people, teams and organisations are able to excel. Within the Netherlands as well as beyond its borders, we do that by advising and supporting them where possible and by confronting them where necessary.

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3512 NS Utrecht

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