Mutual Respect | The Garage Group

Mutual Respect

We’ve been involved in a number of corporate entrepreneurship initiatives over the course of our careers and it’s both hard and rewarding work. The rewarding part generally comes from building a great team that achieves a great result for the company and everyone personally growing as a result of the journey. The hard part comes from having to “fit in” within the rest of the organization. There always seems to be a level of tension between the new (corporate entrepreneurship) and the existing (the core business). It’s natural for the core business to feel threatened by anything that could shake up the status-quo. And, for those driving or a part of corporate entrepreneurship initiatives, it’s easy to feel like an outcast. The assumptions we place on inside entrepreneurs as being mavericks and deviants actually amps up the perceived threat making things even more difficult.

If the end goal of corporate entrepreneurship is truly company growth through system/product/service improvements in the core business and new product /service launches that are new to the company, isn’t it then counter productive to build up a person or a team to go up against the core business? Also, if the core business is on an unsustainable course, isn’t it beneficial to have people placing bets on the future of the company?

The book, The Other Side of Innovation advocates mutual respect between the organization’s core business and the team working to drive innovation. Seems like such a simple concept yet we’ve lost sight of this many times. We can’t lose sight of what we’re trying to achieve through corporate entrepreneurship – a better, continually evolving and progressing company.  That can’t happen sustainably without mutual respect for those driving the core business and those redefining it. A few ideas for intentionally developing mutual respect:

As always, we don’t have it all figured out and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas below. Looking forward to continuing the conversation!

Photo licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 via Flickr user: dcJohn

Explore More