One of the common questions we get from teams who have completed the Startup Bootcamp is this:
How do we keep the momentum going?
Most participants enjoy learning our process for creating disruptive innovations because of how liberating it is. We all want to have a positive impact on the world. Our Startup Bootcamp shows well-intentioned people how to put their sincere desires to change the world into action. It can be an intoxicating experience.
The problem is, then you have to go back to your regular job. Instead of returning to the same old, innovators want to continue in this new way of working. Of course, this is something we encourage wholeheartedly.
I've noticed there are two types of companies that emerge from the Startup Bootcamp 1) those who are successful at implementing what they've learned, and 2) those who slide back into their old habits and forget what they've learned.
There are three things those who are successful always do. For anyone who want to capitalize on the Bootcamp experience, this is your action plan.
1. Take Action
The best way to take action after the Startup Bootcamp is to take a least one of the ideas you were working on and assemble a team around it for a short sprint. 90 days is a good place to start. By focusing all of your energy on one thing, solving the validated problem with a scalable, repeatable solution, you will demonstrate the merit of your ideas and gain support from elsewhere in the company.
There is a reason we call innovators practitioners. Creating disruptive innovations is not easy. No one should expect to complete a three-day bootcamp or read a book and instantly become a world-class innovator. It takes time, experience, failure and success to develop true innovation skills.
The solution to this problem is to use a mentor. Mentors are experienced entrepreneurs and disruptive innovators who have done it before. In their hearts and minds is a depth of experience and insight that is extremely helpful to aspiring innovators. Startups have learned this lesson well by developing small networks of mentors to help them through the startup process.
Disruptive innovation in a big company is no different. In fact, I would suggest it's even more important because intrapreneurs must deal with bureaucracy and barriers that kill innovation in a big company. These issues cause additional challenges for established companies that startups simply don't have to face.
Our 90-Day Accelerator is one solution to this problem. Teams assemble for focused sprints under the guidance of an experienced entrepreneur. Companies who have chosen to use this service are 10 times more likely to implement disruptive innovation principles than those who don't.
2. Train Your Leadership
Most executives have accomplished careers that took years to assemble at a big company. This means almost all of their experience is working in established businesses. I haven't seen many senior executives who have created startups from scratch. Understandably, these smart and capable executives have exclusive experience executing known business models. They can struggle to understand how creating new business models is a fundamentally different process. It requires a different framework, questions, process and mindset.
The reason this is so problematic is because executives can unintentionally kill innovation within their teams.
I've seen this first hand. In one of our Startup Bootcamps, we spent three days teaching, learning and applying disruptive innovation principles. The final share out was a presentation to executives, who didn't participate but came in at the end. To my surprise, 90% of the teams reverted back to their traditional language and frameworks simply because the executives were in the room! I couldn't believe it! Almost everyone seemed to forget concepts like hypothesis, riskiest assumption, MVP and pivot. Instead, they used their old language that was deeply ingrained into their thinking. It felt like an episode from the Twilight Zone.
For this reason, executives need coaching too. We have coached many executives and have achieved great results. Within three months, most executives fully embrace the process. Within six months, they are experts and the leading advocates within the company. If you are going to be a successful disruptor, having a boss that understands what you are doing and why makes all the difference.
3. Demonstrate Success
Nothing promotes a new way of working more than a win. By simply following our Insight-Driven Iteration process, teams can discover real problems that cause real pain and solve them with solutions that customers love. That's innovation!
Whether you do so through our services or choose to go it alone, putting up a win is critical for eventual company-wide adoption.
Your journey is just beginning. There are many bumps in the road. Remember, failure is just part of the process. There is only one proper response to failure. "Interesting. I'm curious, why did that happen? What's the insight? What's the solution?"
You can do this. Keep moving forward.
Please feel free to contact me directly if we can be helpful in your disruptive innovation journey.
Founder & CEO