How to foster innovation without damaging the core business

Each company starts from a start-up, then structures its success around a core business. The core business represents the “good” status quo because you allow the company to obtain easy and consistent results.

Each company must protect and grow its core business. This model is called Exploit.

However, to maintain success over time, every company needs to innovate by creating innovative products. This model is called Explore.

The difficult coexistence between the Explore and Exploit models

What happens when the entrepreneur has a new idea?

Many ideas end up remarrying in a drawer. Some ideas nevertheless persist, strike like raindrops in the entrepreneur’s head until they become dominant.

When an Explore idea becomes dominant in the entrepreneur’s head, it can destroy the core business.

The new idea seems invincible, but it doesn’t automatically succeed.

Here comes the inventor’s cognitive bias. He is not interested in objectively evaluating its capacity for innovation.

Don’t mediate between Explore and Exploit.

Here comes the Ambidextrous Organization.

The ambidextrous organization keeps the competition between the Exploit and Explore models alive through a linkage system called Ambidextrous Management.

Explore and Exploit are divided into separated units, leaving Ambidextrous Managers to integrate the different needs.

This ability allows each party to contaminate the other and, on the other hand, makes it possible to focus on the best cultural model for each.

The benefits of adopting an ambidextrous organization

Ambidextrous organizations have a 9x higher probability of creating a disruptive business.

At the same time, it empowers to strengthen the traditional core business, creating open innovation.

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Matteo Cervelli | People Gardener 🧑‍🌾

🪴 Cultivating fertile environments for leaders to trigger people’s blooming 📝 Writing on strategy + coaching + parenting 👨‍💼 CEO midsize org. | Father of 2