Can Your Organization Learn the New Innovation Dance?


Reboot Stories with Sonny Garg

There is an Entrepreneurial movement sweeping the planet, creating a wave of startups that are rapidly solving (attacking) some of the biggest government and corporate problems we are facing today. They are disrupting age-old practices, mindsets and organizations—and are creating new ecosystems of sustainable solutions that are both agile and scalable. But what about all the big-fat-slow corporations facing the same disruptive future? Can this breakneck entrepreneurial-innovation, they often find themselves witnessing from the sidelines, be accessible to them? Yes…if they learn a new dance.

There are a few ways to help big companies get an all-access pass to the entrepreneurial movement. My favorite is through the "Dancing with Startups" Program, which helps them upgrade their growth and innovation by tapping into the movement, embedding entrepreneurial-grade talent into their organizations and creating hybrid partnerships with incubators/accelerators (like 1871), stealth-startups and entrepreneurs around the world.

While the majority of leaders in both the public and private sectors, are still scratching their heads on how to light that spark of entrepreneurial-innovation inside their organization—smart ones, like Exelon, are jumping in and curating relationships with agile organizations that can help them solve their most challenging problems and create value for their shareholders.

At a recent episode of Reboot Stories at the AKTA Innovation Series, no-nonsense innovator Sonny Garg, Chief Information & Innovation Officer of Exelon, and I debated how best to tap into the startup ecosystem from a big company's perspective. Listen in for some insights on how big business can develop startup-thinking by enabling and protecting a culture of innovation, dealing with failure and nurturing partnerships. Here are some tidbits from our Reboot discussion/debate:

  • Leaders, your biggest task is to lay the foundation that allows innovation to occur by setting the right environment and culture and then empowering people to do what they know is right every step along the way. Innovation should be allowed (not required) to exist everywhere in your organization.
  • Internally crowd-source ideas, but externally source a wide variety of small and big partners who can help you execute and implement solutions that can impact your key growth projects.
  • Big companies need to increase their “learning velocity” by keeping up with the technology trends and changes that are taking place across different disciplines. My favorite way to start doing that, with Big-Fat-Slow organizations, is to teach them how to dance with startups and engage select external partners who know how to cut through the clutter and actually get the right stuff done.

Is your organization Dancing with Startups yet? Watch Reboot Stories Video here:

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