Systematic Innovation


A purpose of this website is to introduce the word entrenovation and to describe its usage and the usage of its derivative words. Secondarily, a goal is to describe the important differences between the practice of entrenovation and the practice of entrepreneurship. How these practices intersect within the organization is dependent on the available resources and the skills of the people who create the policies and procedures designed to suit the innovative needs of an organization as it is currently constituted.

It has become clearly evident enterprises must commit to addressing the need to innovate. This is a large subject that by far exceeds the scope of this website, or the intent of the website. Following are recommended readings that will be convincing, as regards the need to innovate, and introduce the reader to important considerations including the how to’s, the do’s and the don’t’s of the entrenoveurial process and innovation.

Given the nature of the business world today, when opportunism reigns and opportunists quickly take advantage of weaknesses in the offerings of an enterprise, it is essential that corporate strategy includes a commitment to innovation in its growth plan. “Innovation is a necessary ingredient for sustained success;– it protects … tangible and intangible assets against the erosion of the market”. Davia, Epstein, Shelton– Making Innovation Work – Updated Edition, 2013, FT Press

According to Peter Drucker, “The enterprise that does not innovate inevitably ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change … the decline will be fast” in large part due to competitive forces. Companies that, from the beginning, instill the concept of entrenovation in the culture of the company will be rewarded.

As the company grows and is afforded the opportunity to allocate more resources to entrenovation, it will be able to create a department staffed by entrenoveurs that will guide and execute a program intended to identify and develop innovative opportunities to positively affect continuing corporate growth.

Purposeful innovation

The most successful path to organic corporate growth is purposeful innovation that is focused on opportunity rather than risk. It must be market driven, and take advantage of the strengths, interests and knowledge resident in the company. Entrenoveurial flashes of genius are rare; rarer still are flashes of genius that qualify as justifiable opportunities. Even the brilliant insights that pass the test remain the riskiest of innovative opportunities. The majority of innovative success of enterprises will result from a purposeful, systematic entrenovation program.

The entrenoveurial enterprise

The strategy (i.e. the business plan) of a company should specifically address the role innovation will play in the growth of the company. That section of the plan should include the goals attendant thereto, and the policies and procedures expected to provide for the achievement of those goals. It must also describe how the entrenoveurial and entrepreneurial practices will intersect and how the specific innovation will be championed to maximize the corporate benefit.

Innovation is not an outcome that just happens, or results from creative thinking. It is a process that needs to be defined, implemented, and managed. It should be viewed as a purposeful systematic necessity.

The entrenoveurial new venture 

Even if the founder, or founding group, have experience in business, in recognition of the possible pitfalls that can plague a new venture:

  1. Engage the services of a qualified advisor; and 
  2. Consider forming a four-person committee to manage the venture; each having an equal vote in the decision-making.
  3. Prior to generating a development plan, undertake to rigorously investigate the innovative idea and proceed with development only when it is agreed such action is justified.
  4. From the outset focus on the target market must be accepted as critical and be maintained throughout the development period by adjusting and pivoting the program as necessary. 
  5. Establish and rigorously maintain capital control and budgetary processes that identify monthly capital needs, at least twelve months in advance.

As the entrenoveurial development plan approaches a conclusion, and the market comes into view, a business plan will replace the development plan, and the organization will morph from entrenoveurial status to requiring entrepreneurial input.

A decision regarding the ongoing relationship of the founder(s) to continuing operations will be important. It cannot be taken for granted that the entrenoveurial team will be sufficiently well versed in entrepreneurial practice to efficiently manage the new business. 

Reading recommendations: