How can we harness corporate social innovation to unlock opportunity in your organisation?


(Zahid Torres-Rahman) #43

Thanks for all the comments! Let’s move onto our third and final question:


(Maggie De Pree) #44

Also The International Exchange (TIE) is placing employees in advertising sector into non-profits.


(Keren Long) #45

Sorry wrong reply - yes please do as we have an NGO and a for profit business
thank you


(Gib Bulloch) #46

How to overcome this “Corporate Immune System” is a more difficult question as its so engrained within today’s large multinational corporations. It’s partly having this immune system that has enabled them to grow and scale to the size they are today.

Addressing it will require a multi-facted response that would include:

  • Leadership from the top - the CEO needs to be a powerful advocate for bottom up innovation and create the air cover for the aspring intrapreneur
  • From a Talent Management perspective, the organisation needs to take a very careful look at its performance management measures and incentives. Intrapreneurs should need to fear losing their job if they miss their annual objectives, yet have dreamt up the next M_PESA
  • Lastly training. Instead of sending high performers on a Exec MBA to learn how to do Business 1.0 better, faster, cheaper, why not send them instead to Art School or to do an improv comedy course or on a silent retreat. I’d bet my shirt that brave companies would yield huge innovation benefits if they did!

(Maggie De Pree) #47

Celebrating and storytelling. External recognition goes a long way to supporting internal innovations.

Knowledge development. We need more researching mainstreaming this work and featuring in business publications like HBR, FT. How do we reach leadership with the business value of these investments?

Funding. Intrapreneurs really benefit from risk capital. DFID’s BFP is a great example. Unilever Transform programme is also another great example of risk sharing / pooled funding.


(Daryl Burnaby) #48

External partnerships help bring outside thinking (often from other sectors) in to a company. With appropriate structure, funding and support, these can help inspire and engage employees to bring innovations to the table, refine, shape and launch!


(Gib Bulloch) #49

Lots of opportunities for external partners… I’d point to the critical role that DFID played in catalysing M-PESA.

Also, I do think that intrapreneurship is a massive opportunity for NGOs to tap into the innovative talent in their supporter bases, who happen to also be residing deep inside large companies. To be continued.


(Zahid Torres-Rahman) #50

Thanks everyone for joining today’s discussion. We’ll keep it open - so please keep posting your comments!

This discussion is part of the Challenge on Corporate Social Innovation Systems, supported by DFID and in partnership with the League of Intrapreneurs. To find out more and to sign up, click here.


(Katie Hyson) #51

I came into the development of the intrepreneur systems with rather a rigid - ‘business needs to do this for itself in order to embed it into its core business’ and now I am beginning to appreciate the benefits of partnerships in:

  1. Ring fencing budget
  2. Keeping commitment
  3. Working through problems
  4. Bringing multi business skills

For example: Astrazenica / Digitas LBi’s DIG: Digital Innovation Group

Partnership between pharma group and digital experts to deliver faster digital solutions for healthcare consumers and professionals. Every 7 weeks, the two different businesses’ teams come together to ideate, they reframe to unpack complex challenges and come at them from different angles. Only 2 ideas from each ideation session are taken forward from each session, only 1 is then presented to Astrazenica leaders, before being built and shared.


(Gib Bulloch) #52

Great fun. Thanks for the opportunity !

Pls read The Intrapreneur if you want deeper perspectives on this topic… :slight_smile:


(Charles Okwalinga) #53

Investing in Social Innovation:
Firstly it is key to Create Value, and indeed underline perception of value, by Inclusive approaches, emphasizing participation by numbers, and then diversity by catchment ether by geography, demographics or indeed development key sectors. What is it that is already existing with the people that is of scaleable value?
Secondly Consideration should be in Adding Value by ensuring sustainability and ensure impact. The focus can be on widening participation. i.e '‘profit by volume rather than by margin’'
We also need to focus on chronic inadequate startup or pre investment investment that stifles innovation, especially at the social grassroots… The communities i am working with live well below the UN poverty line definition, but are endowed with basic wealth creating possessions like locally bred Chicken. We are embarking on the savings program of a '‘chicken a month’ cooperative, targeting to invest in production and marketing of the rest of key sectors, that being the weakest links in the enterprise development chain. We hope will get 20% (500,000) of the local population to save a chicken or $4 to $5 a month in form of a chicken or save chicks that otherwise are lost to pests… The investment support needed is to feed the chicks, and vaccinate the chicken properly and take to the market. The return or multiplier effect could truly be 100 fold within 2 to 3 years with investment in innovative strategies


(Trupti Kulkarni) #54

Thank you for setting this up Zahid.