An excerpt (No More Excuses!) of the new Harvard Business School Press book ” The Venture Imperative: A New Model for Corporate Innovation” appears this month in Context Magazine. The book examines the innovation imperative for modern companies and how “venturing” – arms-length, experimental, start-up initiatives – fits that need. The authours look at several of the arguments against venturing – namely that it is irrelevant to many businesses; that it is too expensive; and that it is too risky – and counters each excuse with solid arguments of their own.
Mason and Rohner offer dozens of examples of successful venturing programs but say many companies still are missing out on opportunities. The reason, they say, is that companies can’t get over “their mistaken assumptions about corporate venturing, especially those based on the inappropriate excesses of the last few years. Much of the conventional wisdom…arises from experiments with venturing that had no process, no clear goals, and no structure that linked it with the firm’s larger strategic purposes.