Innovation speaker Chitra Anand is at the forefront of an important new movement in the workplace: Intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs are the people within your organization who possess an entrepreneurial spirit — driving innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas. She’s seen this opportunity within her previous leadership roles as former Head of Communications for Microsoft Canada, Director of Marketing at TELUS Corporation and Director of Operations at Open Text.
Her brand new book and keynote presentation are all about empowering organizations to develop innovation from within:
The Innovation Problem
Chitra believes that one of the biggest traps organizations fall into when developing innovation initiatives is overcomplication. This – in part – is due to inflexible organizational structures and processes. Chitra’s message is all about promoting a new corporate culture, one that uses fresh intelligence to help drive innovative thinking from within.
The Greenhouse Approach
With The Greenhouse Approach, Chitra provides a problem-solving methodology that incorporates both creative and practical considerations through 7 Guiding Principles:
• Relevance // Companies will win using technology the right way. Organizations must have somebody in charge of scanning the marketplace to discover new technological tools and assess their relevance to your target market.
• Creativity // Innovators must learn how to exercise their creative muscles and practice them on a daily basis. A strong creative mindset empowers individuals to look at problems and consider them from a new perspective, which can often lead to unorthodox, but highly innovative solutions.
• Speed // Innovators can cut through organizational red-tape by utilizing new technologies to rapidly execute solutions. Central to this is data – collecting and analyzing it at a fast rate will help you beat competitors to market.
• Clarity // Growth objectives must always be paired with clarity. Leaders need to clearly articulate goals to employees on three levels: company goals, team goals, and individual goals.
• Accountability // With remote working on the rise, processes must be in place to hold employees accountable for the output and work they produce. Empowering employees to be the owners of projects helps boost engagement.
• Experimentation // Adopt an innovators mindset and look at experimentation in the form of a broken-down series of hypothesis statements. Testing helps achieve business goals by presenting facts on various initiatives that boost efficiency in the form of time, capital, and resources.
• Execution// Know the steps that need to happen and when they must occur. While doing so, your team must be prepared to pivot and change direction if need be.
Event planners can expect their event to be the catalyst for organizational innovation. This keynote presentation can be paired with book purchases, allowing audiences to have a deeper investigation of the content long after the event has concluded. View highlights from The Greenhouse Approach keynote here & here.
In addition to her keynote, Chitra offers a Greenhouse Approach workshop as an extension of the talk or on its own. This applied learning model is ideal for smaller audiences, such as leadership teams. In this workshop, Chitra will explore the behaviours and attributes of an incredibly powerful and talented group of people. Discover your inner intrapreneur and develop an understanding of how you and your organization can best support other intrapreneurs. Chitra will guide attendees through a set of activities and exercises to help establish an innovative mindset using the 7 Guiding Principles. This workshop will help guide the strategic application of the model and make your Greenhouse come alive.
How Can Your Organization Get Started?
Is intrapreneurship and The Greenhouse Approach the right path towards innovation for your organization? Chitra says there are many types of trial exercises that can be done within an organization to ‘dip toes’ in the waters of innovation.
One of the most utilized is Growth Hacking – the acclaimed crowdsourcing method to solve problems through innovative approaches. A popular form this takes is the ‘Shark Tank’ or ‘Dragons’ Den’ model:
1 – Set a creative call out to employees & let individuals opt-in.
2 – Divide the participants into teams, ideally a cross-section of departments to foster cross-sectional collaboration.
3 – Assign a big-picture problem to be solved & lay the ground rules so that employees understand how the exercise will flow.
4 – Have each team build & crystalize their ideas to the point where they can be executed.
5 – Have a set amount of time (e.g. three minutes) where teams pitch their ideas to the judges (e.g. the leadership team).
6 – Select a winning idea & empower employees to follow through on the idea.
The activity will result in boosting engagement amongst employees while starting to build the culture of innovation from within!