Lean Conf Panel: “Lean Startup & Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship”

by Justin Souter on October 15, 2013


This post is about a Panel — on innovation and entrepreneurship — I hope to be chairing in a couple of weeks.

Lean Conf

Lean Conf styles itself as a “A conference for entrepreneurs, designers and innovators: Two days of workshops and talks with highly practical lessons and stories that can be applied at every stage of business, from an idea up to large organisations.”

Effectively, it’s the UK / European equivalent of The Lean Startup Conference.

I’m excited to be attending, and I thought I would emulate Umar Yusufu in offering to be part of the proceedings. This is possible because Day 1 of the weekend is in Leancamp format.

Q & A Panel: Lean Startup & Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This panel [scroll down the page] will discuss how existing organisations, who are executing known business models, can raise the success of corporate innovation and entrepreneurship by applying the disciplines of Lean Startup, Customer Development, and Business Model Generation.

What can these disciplines bring in terms of improved outcomes; what challenges need to be grappled with; what are best practices and the ROI from using these disciplines; and how can Lean Startup reach a tipping point in a crowded field of buzzwords and jargon, and the related fatigue.”


Having been involved in a corporate improvement initiative at a previous employer, I was inspired by Steve Blank’s post of December 2012 to suggest this panel to explore what’s next for corporate innovation.

Introduction from Steve’s post

By way of context, this is Steve’s introduction to this topic:

The Future of Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Almost every large company understands it needs to build an organization that deals with the ever-increasing external forces of continuous disruption, the need for continuous innovation, globalization and regulation.

But there is no standard strategy and structure for creating corporate innovation.

We outline the strategy problem in this post and will propose some specific organizational suggestions in follow-on posts.”

Lean Startup Conference activity

This year’s Lean Startup Conference will also be exploring this area; to that end, you may find these following blog posts food for thought:

A panel of heavy hitters

I’m excited that the magic touch of Ben and Manuel of Lean Conf means we have a top panel, comprising:

  • Barry O’Reilly, Lead consultant @thoughtworks and co-author of the upcoming @OReillyMedia book Lean Enterprise
  • Anna Kuriakose – CPO at JustGiving
  • Dan Toma – Business Developer & Entrepreneur
  • Tendayi Viki – Senior Lecturer at University of Kent and Principal Consultant at BenneliJacobs&Co

Help us shape the questions we discuss via User Voice

As per the instructions on “Getting Started with Leancamp”, I’m going to post the following questions to User Voice for discussion.

Dan recently met with Steve Blank and having discussed with him innovation in the enterprise and also what was debated in the Lean LaunchPad class, Steve’s suggested discussion topics can be summed-up in 2 major questions:

1. How do you convince executive of the necessity to innovate (and innovate using modern methodologies and techniques: agile engineering, customer development etc) & how to get buy-in for innovative endeavors.

2. What works & doesn’t work in an enterprise incubator setting.

Having watched the latest webcast from Eric, Patrick, and Brant, I came up with the following questions (either ‘closely modeled’ or stimulated by their discussion):

  1. What are Actionable Metrics for established organisations?
  2. What training is needed for colleagues to understand and harness Lean Startup?
  3. How do you put out and MVP in an established corporate?
  4. Is there a size beyond which Lean Startup is ineffective?
  5. What sort of items should go into corporate Innovation guidelines?
  6. How do you make it culturally acceptable to do search in an organisation which prioritises execution?
  7. What are the quick wins?
  8. What does Innovation Accounting look like in a corporate?
  9. How do we attract positive attention for Lean Startup, when there is so much scepticism and fatigue about new ideas / initiatives / fads? How does one evolve the corporate culture to want to embrace Lean Startup?

I doubt very much that we’ll have time to cover all these, so I’d welcome your feedback on User Voice about which (of mine) to prioritise…

See you there!

I hope this post is reasonably intelligible: I’ll update once I’ve had a chance to re-read.

See you in Manchester in less than two weeks ;-D

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