entrecode Blog


How your business can innovate the entrecode© way

A recent study at Harvard Business School revealed that 90% of existing businesses said that innovation was a priority and the same 90% said that they struggled to do it!

Why?  We researched the problem back in 2000 and developed a solution that has worked for many businesses since.  Here is how to do it:

  1. Find the entrepreneurs in your business and give them the challenge of innovating.  About 1:10 people have natural entrepreneurial talent, so liberate them. Bureaucrats or steady state managers find innovation a problem.
  2. Create an achievement culture around the entrepreneurs.

Corporate or Management Culture – Power and Control

  • Rules
  • Procedures
  • Job descriptions
  • Meetings
  • Systems
  • Formality
  • Rule compliance
  • Politics
  • Risk avoidance

Innovation Culture – Achievement

  • Autonomy
  • Ownership
  • Trust
  • Break the rules
  • Risk taking
  • Informal
  • Trial and error
  • Intuition
  • Seek forgiveness, not permission

95% of all innovations in the last 100 years have come from small entrepreneurial firms of less than 20 people operating in an achievement culture.

So there is your recipe for success for introducing innovation into your business.


3 ways top performers get into the zone

High performing people including entrepreneurs, athletes and musicians perform at their best when they are ‘in the zone’.  This is a state of optimal functioning both mentally and physically.

How can you get into the zone and fly?

  1. Keep your eyes on the prize.  Keep your vision of success at the forefront of your mind so you can “see it, smell it and taste it”, as one entrepreneur told me.  This should enable you to function with a positive attitude, avoiding distractions and staying persistent.
  2. Start something. Disorderly action is better than planned inaction every time because you get success or learning.  When I am writing a book or a report I just sit down with a pen and a clean sheet of paper and start.  Things start to happen and I get energised and focused.
  3. Get a routine that works for you.  My daughter Penny got into the zone during her exams by using the same routine every time.  She didn’t talk to other students beforehand and get worried.  When she got into the exam room she placed her watch on the table in the exact same place, same with her pens and equipment.  She read the exam paper slowly right the way through.  She then started and allocated herself ten minutes at the end to review.  It worked for her every time.

You know when you have been in the zone because you are focused, at your best and time elapses at a different speed.  So try these techniques or develop your own and good luck in learning to fly!

5 Great Ways to Innovate

Many clients’ issues require more innovation in order to boost their business.  Here are some of the ways we have helped them to innovate:

  1. Find the entrepreneurs within the business (about 1:20) using the Entrepreneurial Potential Report (EPR) Saville Consulting and set them the challenge of innovating.  This unleashes their natural talents and energy.
  2. Create an achievement culture.  Innovation cannot occur in the traditional power and control culture that prevails in many businesses so get a small group of people (preferably entrepreneurs) and create an achievement culture by agreeing some important ground rules e.g. there are no rules!
  3. Ask the question “who does this best in the world” and go and find out how they do it.  We went to Walmart to find out how they bought and this added tens of millions of pounds additional profit to my client Keepmoat.
  4. Give smart young people e.g. graduates the challenge of innovating.  They are less likely to be tainted by the existing culture and norms so they are more likely to look at issues through a fresh pair of eyes.  Our EPR research shows that graduates are better at spotting new opportunities whilst existing managers are better at building capability.
  5. Try small scale pilots which are low risk but you get either success or learning from them.  Make sure you have short feedback loops.  If this works scale it up, if it doesn’t, try something else.  If you don’t take any risks or make any mistakes then you are unlikely to come up with anything new!

Good luck in boosting your business in 2014.