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Intuit the value of validating business ideas

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They must become Janus-like, looking in two directions at once, with one face focused on the old and the other seeking out the new.

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Once projects became operational, they moved to the Commercial Development Group, whose head reported directly to the CEO.They can succeed by finding the right balance in setting strategy, operating the business, and designing the organization." To be competitive, companies must grow innovative new businesses. New ventures face innumerable barriers and seldom mesh smoothly with well-established systems, processes, and cultures.Other companies charge managers with nurturing innovative ideas.But preoccupied with their existing businesses, managers neglect new projects they consider diversions.Strike the right balance between new and old, and you sweeten the odds that innovative ventures will find a home in your company German manufacturing firm Henkel asked employees to identify problems they had experienced with its detergent products and to propose new business ideas that could address those problems. An “invent team” rated ideas based on assessments of market size and Henkel’s existing technical capabilities—shrinking the list to 50 promising ideas.

Expo Design Center used to operate independently of parent Home Depot, though the two sold related products.

Such companies, they say, must perform three balancing acts: To trounce rivals, your company must innovate.

But most new ventures set up by established businesses fail. Companies adopt one of two extreme approaches to corporate entrepreneurship—each of which has flaws.

They’ve also found that they can’t grow rapidly by tweaking existing offerings, taking over rivals, or moving into developing countries.

Because of maturing technologies and aging product portfolios, a new imperative is clear: Companies must create, develop, and sustain innovative new businesses.

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