Wanting your employees to be more innovative isn’t revolutionary. Encouraging them to disrupt your business from the inside out? That’s thinking wrong.
“At the Blitz it got bigger. The ideas got bigger. The space got bigger. The customer groups got bigger.”
—Holly Tachovsky, CEO BuildFax, dmgi Intrapreneur
Challenge: dmgi, the international information business of the Daily Mail Group, had a problem. Actually, they had several problems and all of them were silos. The company had acquired a number of real estate information firms, but there was no system in place for cross-company collaboration, cooperative innovation, or leveraging communal assets. In fact, there was a tacit culture of not sharing across company lines.
Story: We gathered CEOs and employees of these companies together for a three-day Blitz in New York City.
One powerful asset the group uncovered was a vast network of data on commercial buildings. In a breakout Make Stuff session, one team wrestled with how to make this network valuable to consumers, landing on the idea that was a mash up of Zillow and OKCupid for commercial real estate.
Now they had to figure out if—and how—to bring it to life. Working with Mach49, our Silicon Valley incubator partner, dmgi deployed a team of eight to receive the training, coaching, and resources necessary to research and pressure test the concept.
Importantly, the team did not act as a new silo of renegades out on their own. They regularly reported back to their colleagues and CEOs to share their momentum (and keep the buy-in) with the larger group.
Result: Using Thing Wrong Practices in combination with the assets they already had, the team broke through silos to develop a business that had benefits across the parent company. They created a new commercial real estate search engine and rating service, including a mobile app, that would help users match their needs to the perfect commercial space.
In just three months, the group went from a collection of companies unsure of how they might work together to collaborating on a viable and exciting new enterprise called Spaceful. But more importantly, the team gained, and ingrained, the practice of collaboration across companies.
We serve corporate clients who want to build and strengthen their ability to imagine, incubate, accelerate, and launch significant new businesses—with their own people.
A selection of corporate clients Solve Next has helped think wrong about new ventures.
A selection of new venture challenges Solve Next has helped our clients think wrong about.
“How might Danfoss adopt the best of Silicon Valley to radically transform our ability to innovate digital experiences and connected products for our customers—and our business?”
“How might we spark hundreds and thousands of local youth-empowering projects in neighborhoods, villages, towns, cities, and rural communities all over the planet?”
“How might our New Business become an integral player in the emerging ground transportation web—ecosystem of manufacturing, logistics and services?”
“How might we use commercial real estate content and insight to become an indispensable partner to decision makers confronting daunting challenges and promising opportunities?”
“How might we create a Treasury platform that is simple, clear, and enjoyable to use?”
“How might we help U.S. customers participate in energy markets to unlock the full value of both those markets and those customers?”
Is a “Culture of Innovation” just bulls**t? Read Mike Burn’s post in our Free Brains Blog. Then, you make the call.
Contact Kim Scales to explore how thinking wrong might help you disrupt your organization from the inside out.