Chapter 1


Introducing the Lean Enterprise

The root of the enterprise's innovation troubles are the internal failures to address issues of autonomy, incentive, and financial structure. But the overwhelming need to innovate is driven by changes in the outside world. Ubiquitous access to the Internet, mobile networks, and cloud computing re-sculpt the business landscape at ever faster rates. Those forces bring forth new markets and stimulate new products, while building and destroying companies with unsettling speed.

Enterprises need to understand this new environment and its implications for their innovation efforts, and they need to build new structures and strategies that take advantage of these forces rather than being overwhelmed by them. In the chapter entitled Strategy (Chapter 2), we take a closer look at the forces at play and their implications for innovation organizations and strategies.

The Innovation Colony

Overall, this book explains how to generate a profusion of product or service ideas and figure out which ones are likely to make viable businesses, predictably and repeatedly, within a large organization. The key is a new corporate structure that we call an innovation colony. Like the economic and political colonies of previous centuries, an innovation colony is a settlement staffed by employees of the mother company, but it's distant enough that the company's traditional management practices are not in full effect. It's funded by the enterprise, but its main ...

Get The Lean Enterprise: How Corporations Can Innovate Like Startups now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.