Dr. Simone Ahuja – consultant, author, speaker and entrepreneur, is the CEO of Blood Orange where her mission is to empower innovators in large organizations and mobilize them with entrepreneurial tools for a single purpose: to transform the corporate culture from the inside out using design and lean principles. In Jugaad 3.0 Hacking the Corporation, she shifts the focus from ‘entrepreneurs’ to ‘intrapreneurs’, the incredible ‘corporate hackers’ who tap into and around the bureaucratic machinery surrounding them to advance their projects. Or we could call them ‘constructive disrupters’, since today’s intrapreneurs often seriously challenge existing business from product offering to business model, yet they do it actively from the inside and, by doing this, help keep the enterprise viable.
Based on hundreds of interviews, as well as the author’s consulting work within companies, Jugaad 3.0 Hacking the Corporation identifies the competencies these corporate hackers possess. It also offers a spectrum of carefully crafted archetypes to help people see themselves in this trend and allow organizations identify the innovators in their midst.
Read on to find out how to ‘hack’ your corporation from within itself with these eight essential principles
Keep It Frugal
Intrapreneurs actively solve problems and seek opportunities, relying on pre-existing elements and recombining resources for novel uses.
What organizations need now are the right tools and a ready mindset to innovate from within. The Jugaad 3.0 agenda items that follow directly support my main message: deep-six the deep pockets. Simple tools, small budgets and human ingenuity can deliver impressive results, including maximum agility with fewer ‘business as usual’ strings attached. Knowing that nothing innovative
is ever truly linear (or one size fits all), consider these to be á la carte strategies for keeping it frugal:
- Remain Asset-Based
- Keep It Simple
- Encourage Frugal Experiments
- Focus on Teams
- Rethink Incentives
Make It Permissionless
Lets leaders provide support without crushing the creativity and potential of upstart intrapreneurs. Companies need a culture of permissionless innovation a innovation isn’t something that you should be asking approval for.
Making intrapreneurship sustainable requires creating a permission-lite environment for intrapreneurs. It’s autonomy with guardrails. The goal is to establish a network of support rather than a system of tight control by leaders. This ‘support, don’t control’ mantra reinforces frugal funding and has two additional benefits. First, it is an easy fit for intrapreneurs, who want a safe space to pursue new ideas and side projects. Second, it doesn’t oblige large companies and their leaders to bend over backward to manage and measure early-stage projects. Here are the plays that put permissionless to work:
- Support, Don’t Control
- Say ‘Yes’ More Often
- Add Light Structure
Let Customers Lead
Even though being ‘customer-led’ might sound obvious, it isn’t put into practice by many would-be innovators. Rather than sitting in an ivory tower and thinking about what the customer needs, ask the customer what they want. Look at how the customer is using your product.
Organizations that allow intrapreneurs to take their cues from customers create an instant advantageand avoid many of the barriers that derail internal innovation. These are the plays that I have seen work best in industries and environments across the board:
- Create Leading-Edge Customer Focus
- Hack Better Access to Customers
- Turn Customers into Innovation Partners
- Make Intrapreneurship a Sales Priority
Keep It Fluid
Since fluid team formation does not happen naturally in most organizations, companies need light structures to enable new levels of information sharing, networking and mobility across their talent pools.
Fluidity delivers more control and autonomy to individual intrapreneurs and small groups, and less to the management layers above them. This tricky little paradigm switch packs a positive punch that promises to increase innovation if managed properly. The trouble is that the type of organizational structure that enables fluidity is less rigid than we are accustomed to today. Just as everything digital tears down existing walls, we need to eliminate artificial, outdated boundaries and allow intrapreneurs some latitude to selfdirect, self-manage and self-organize. Here’s a look at how
to make it work:
- Create a Team of Teams
- Make Management Fluid
- Support Agility Through Structure
Maximize Return on Intelligence
‘Return on intelligence’ is a reformulation of ROI that puts the short term emphasis on intellectual rather than financial gains.
Intrapreneurs rely on constant learning in an open, agile environment where the culture can balance structure with autonomy and metrics with flexibility as part of these J3.0 principles:
- When in Doubt, Test It Out
- Make Learning a Priority
- Measure Return on Intelligence
- Make Failure Feasible
Create the Commons
The corporation should create ‘the commons’, or a space where information is openly shared, for the whole development community, involving many more types of people and thinking.
The idea that intrapreneurship should be open and inclusive should not surprise anyone. Still, we are left with the question of how to achieve that goal. My approach throughout this book has been to hold up principles to help you create your own J3.0 playbook. That approach reflects the realities that (a) best practices are forever changing, and (b) the ‘best’ answers will, in any case, never come down to cookie-cutter solutions but will be customized to particular settings. With that in mind, start your playbook with these field-tested, flexible ideas for inclusive intrapreneurship:
- Plan for Full Inclusion
- Make It Safe to Innovate
- Use Technology in Appropriate Measure
- Train Future Intrapreneurs
- Create Porous Networks
Engage Passion and Purpose
Passion is what motivates intrapreneurs to keep going when the work seems thankless or when seemingly insurmountable challenges arise.
Recognizing the passion and purpose parts of intrapreneurship allows companies to think more broadly about how to match their people with the problems they care most about. For employees, having the opportunity to work on passion projects creates greater engagement. For companies, it makes the most of creativity and ingenuity. Here’s how to put this win-win dynamic to work in a Jugaad 3.0 way:
- Make Purpose Programmatic
- Leverage Passion That Bubbles Up
- Push Passion Viral
Add Discipline to Disruption
There should be a full spectrum of innovation options for intrapreneurs in any organization, from eye-popping, potentially disruptive innovations to clever little hacks on existing solutions. They are all valid, and companies can create disciplined systems by thinking through three streams of innovation.
The J3.0 approach requires structure and discipline in the right measure in order to extract the most value from each stream of innovation and install metrics that guide and measure success
without losing the learning or limiting the idea. The prescriptive plays look like this:
- Develop Multiple Streams of Innovation
- Create a Culture That Enables Hybridity
- Manage Disruption with Discipline
Jugaad 3.0: Hacking the Corporation will prove that every organization’s best chance, to survive and become better than ever, lies within itself.