March 26, 2019 ·  2 min

Being an Entrepreneur in a large Organization

Avichay is an organizational consultant, specializing in corporate innovation. He is also a partner in Duco, a consulting firm that specializes in entrepreneurial processes in large organizations. He has been doing this for the past five years. Before that, Avichay was a producer in the media industry.

The Innovation Gap

Working as an organizational consultant for a few years, Avichay found himself constantly discussing innovation to the point he realized he wasn’t bringing enough value to his customers as a traditional consultant. Then he met Elena and Dan, his now-partners in Duco and they started discussing the gap between the outcomes innovation provides to the Israeli startup ecosystem and the outcomes it brings in the corporate world. Over this period of discussion, the three of them came to realize that the gap is mostly due to the lack of execution methodologies within large organizations. In other words, corporate innovation was mostly focused on the ideational and product development stage but not enough on the product market fit stage of the innovative solutions. They believe this part is the most important and most intense in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it provides the missing link. They, therefore, created methodologies and models that would enable corporations to execute innovative ideas in the same manner as they would in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ORGANIZATIONS TODAY IS TO REALIZE THAT IDEAS ARE NOT THE FOCUS OF THE INNOVATION.

Ideas are just the starting point of a much more important journey that continues to the product market fit and the implanting of cutting edge technologies. Such a process should be measurable, systematic, and well-managed so that it speaks the language of the organization and embraces the organic organizational mindset. Innovation is a strategic management process and not an ideational event.

Measure once, measure twice

Avichay says, based on his experience, the main challenge for companies is their inability to measure and foresee the potential within innovative ideas. They either disregard the idea as crazy or prefer to invest heavily in an unchecked idea without any room for staggered validation and pivoting.

Duco has recently finished a very challenging project with the IDF. It took some time for the organization to understand why it had to innovate. They knew they had to because everyone else was doing so, but they didn’t fully understand why. The process included mapping the pros and cons of an innovation unit. On the one hand, this made life a bit more difficult for people who had got used to doing things a certain way. On the other hand, the army’s customers are usually young and up-to-date people. Another challenge in this project was the difficulty in sharing information within such a highly classified organization. During the six-month process of setting up the unit, Avichay interviewed many of the key people in the unit and was able to find the right motivations for innovative processes. He was then able to design a system that included measurement and the option to correct the course. The emphasis on creating the right process, which included constant evaluation and re-evaluation insured that the project was not just a publicity stunt. More importantly, it will bring change in the way decisions are taken and new technologies are embraced.