MODULE 3 - Strategies for Advancing Social Innovation Within Your Institution
In this module, we begin our transition from theory to practice. The innovation opportunity and business case understanding is a foundation for advancing the #SocInt (social intrapreneurship) projects. A variety of challenges will stand in your way; office politics, bureaucracy, limited resources, status-quo and unsupportive colleagues; just to name a few. In large organizations, senior managers are not judging ideas solely on their potential, they are looking for evidence, track records and systems thinking. This week we will explore practical strategies for navigating institutional blockages and achieving the consensus and momentum needed for #SocInt.
1) Read: Five Key Insights From My Time as an Intrapreneur
“This summer I had the opportunity of joining a small team of three intrapreneurs at Atlantic Lottery in their newly minted customer innovation department. In addition to that, I spent a lot of time working closely with Market Gravity – a proposition design consultancy that was helping in establishing the department. Through both these parties, I was exposed to all things innovation. Here are five key insights that I took away:”
2) Understand: The Importance of Lean
Intrapreneurial initiatives often have tight budgets and require agile practices. By adapting Steve Blank and Eric Reis’ “Lean Start-Up Methodology” you can progress your initiative with bootstrapping, minimally viable products and customer/beneficiary feedback loops often associated with Silicon Valley start-ups.
Discuss: How can these ideas be applied within the context of a larger organization?
Not familiar with the lean innovation language? A shared innovation language is important for social intrapreneurship teams to succeed. With these concepts, all internal stakeholders engaged in the activities and results assessments must understand the iterative and experimental nature before the process begins, or out-sized expectations may derail the innovation.
Build the lean social intrapreneur’s lexicon by reading definitions and explanations from Lean Impact’s “Ultimate Dictionary of Lean for Social Good”. Focus in on the following seven words: A/B Testing, Build-Measure-Learn Cycle, Intrapreneur, Iteration, Minimally Viable Product, Pivot, Validated Learning.
3) Review: #SocInt Strategies
Oftentimes for the success of a social intrapreneurial initiative to succeed, the social intrapreneur will have to keep their idea under wraps. This tactic allows for the idea to be “fully baked” as well as the opportunity to build proof and the support needed to push it forward.
Read the following Harvard Business Review article, entitled “The Case for Stealth Innovation” by Paddy Miller and Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg. Then learn about more essential strategies by heading over to the “10 #SocInt Strategies” section for ten snapshots of other methods.
Stealth Innovation: Stealth Innovation is a strategy that allows you to operate under the radar as you gain the evidence and allies needed to advance your innovation.
Discuss: Stealth or transparency?
Have resources and capacity but an immediate disruption to the status quo would upset internal stakeholders who can totally derail the opportunity? Is it possible to test out small bits of your idea while keeping the grand vision in the background? Discuss all of these points on the forum.
After diving deep into one strategic approach get some quick tips and ideas with Ten #SocInt Strategy Snapshots: Go to 10 #SocInt Strategies
4) Discussion Question
What are the skill sets and support systems you think are required to successfully implement these strategies listed in this module and how and where we can build them?
Want to get deeper into the psychology behind the resistance to innovation?
5) Pilot: Two *optional* tracks to further your learning and application of social intrapreneurship
Feel free to do one, both, or none of the tracks based on what would be most helpful for you!
Track 1: Facilitator Office Hours this Friday, May 4th at 10am Eastern Daylight Time | More details and RSVP here.
What will be covered during Facilitator Office Hours?
Questions related to the course material, including the supplementary material
Topics raised by our guest experts or materials provided by them
Feedback regarding your intrapreneurial journey to date
What will NOT be covered during Facilitator Office Hours?
Any questions outside the scope of the course materials or guest expert sessions to date
Any additional information on the backgrounds of the course team
Any 1:1 questions or focus – this is for all participants!
If you are unable to attend the Facilitator Office Hours, not to worry! Our course team will still be active in the forums to respond to your questions and provide support.
Since this is a pilot, we will be on a learning journey together on how best to do this – so feedback is welcome! We look forward to learning with you!
Questions about Track 1: Contact Alexis Duclos, Course Co-Facilitator, at [email protected].
Track 2: Connect Your Purpose with Your Work
Enhance your capacity as an intrapreneur.
Led by Alex Inchbald, extreme artist, author, purpose and innovation coach, and Jason Bernhardt-Lanier, Managing Director of Changemaker Talent, Ashoka, this track will take just 60 minutes to prepare before the live, interactive session with peers, including Kendal Whitlock, Associate Director for Innovation, North America for Boehringer Ingelheim. You will learn the purpose of purpose, and articulate your Personal Purpose (your WHY).
Knowing your Personal Purpose focuses your creativity and increases the value of innovation. It enriches your life, and further realises your intrapreneurial intentions for good, including those core to Making More Health.
RSVP to the live session here (limited availability and first-come first served)
Steve Blank, Harvard Business Review
Working inside an organization that has tight budgets and a lack of creativity? Adapt Lean Start-Up Methodology and get your initiative started with bootstrapping, minimally viable products and customer/beneficiary feedback loops often associated with Silicon Valley start-ups.
Leah Neaderthal and Leanne Pittsford Co-founders, Lean Impact
Build the prototyper’s lexicon by reading definitions and explanations from Lean Impact’s “Ultimate Dictionary of Lean for Social Good”. Focus in on the following seven words: A/B Testing, Build-Measure-Learn Cycle, Intrapreneur, Iteration, Minimally Viable Product, Pivot, Validated Learning.
Paddy Miller and Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg, Harvard Business Review
Have the resources and capacity but an immediate disruption to the status quo would totally derail the opportunity? Is it possible to test out small bits of your idea while keeping the grand vision in the background? Stealth Innovation is a strategy that allows you to operate under the radar as you gain the evidence and allies needed to advance your innovation.
Mueller, J. S., Melwani, S., & Goncalo, J. A. (2011) Cornell University, ILR School site:
The next time your great idea at work elicits silence or eye rolls, you might just pity those co-workers. Fresh research indicates they don’t even know what a creative idea looks like and that creativity, hailed as a positive change agent, actually makes people uncomfortable. Read this study to gain a better understanding of how people really act and feel towards new ideas and innovations despite what they say.
2016 Q12® Meta-Analysis: Ninth Edition
JAMES K. HARTER, PH.D., GALLUP
FRANK L. SCHMIDT, PH.D., UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
SANGEETA AGRAWAL, M.S., GALLUP
STEPHANIE K. PLOWMAN, M.A., GALLUP
ANTHONY BLUE, M.A., GALLUP
This course connects social intrapreneurship with effective employee engagement. This resource by Gallup has robust measurement and impact metrics for effective employee engagement. E.g. results show that top performing businesses (top-quartile) with respect to employee engagement outperform other (bottom-quartile) businesses by 10% in customer loyalty / engagement, 21% in profitability, and 20% in productivity.