Organizing for Innovation
For each and every organization that participated in our study, venturing was seen as a window to new opportunities. All felt that, as a large organization, they had difficulties in dealing with their turbulent, and often disruptive, environment. Corporate R & D departments take years to come up with innovations and generally have a hard time thinking outside the box. At Océ Canon, for instance, efforts were initially focused on the printer market, whereas the true innovations were found to be in a much broader or even completely different market. Venturing offers these organizations an opportunity to create an entrepreneurial environment and allows them to more easily adopt innovations that have been developed by, often small, outside companies. Here, a distinction needs to be made between internal and external venturing. With internal venturing, a separate business unit is created within the organization that is charged with developing ideas that come from within the organization but tend to remain unexplored due to a lack of time or money. Examples of this sort of venturing are AkzoNobel’s New Ventures and the InnovationLab at TU/e. External venturing involves allocating a specific budget or setting up a fund under a separate company business unit for investing in innovations being developed outside the organization: Unilever, Océ Canon and Sanoma all pursued this form of venturing.
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