HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PODCAST:
I think about this idea of integration and it comes with a lot of nuances, right? How do you get people in this spirit of, “Hey, we’re introducing a new digital business and we need you guys on board to help support, foster, and grow it”…and do all these risky things that you’re talking about. How do you foster that spirit and get people to link arms and be in the trenches together?
This is one of the common failure modes. You get organ rejection, right? You get the old guard looking at this new thing saying, “Well, that’s new and different and threatening, and by the way, it’s taking funds and management time away from what I’ve been working on, so I’m not supportive.” You sometimes see that. So the first thing is this new business needs to be created somewhat separate from the core. If you created in the building where the core is, with the same people running the core, with the same processes, you’re just increasing the odds of failure dramatically. So you create it off to the side. You commonly bring in, for the most part, a new team. Sometimes you’ll selectively pull in talented executives from the core into the new business because that’s helpful. They have knowledge of the industry, the customers, the data. But you don’t want to bring in too much because you are building a new culture, a new capability, a new way of working.
But what happens is, once you start to scale it and it starts to work, then it starts to build credibility and that track record buys you real credibility with the executives in the core and then they start to look over and say, “Okay, I could really get behind this because maybe at first I wasn’t sure where it was going. I now see it’s working and this could be really big for the company.” So there’s a little bit of protecting the baby as it’s growing up and it can stand on its own two feet before you introduce it too much to the core.
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