Visionary collaboration program accelerated Stora Enso’s transformation
, Annamari Typpö
Finland is booming with entrepreneurial spirit and large firms create scalable innovations and agile methods of operation where key words include co-creation and collaboration.
Aalto ENT is a pioneer in developing and nurturing not only entrepreneurship but also intrapreneurship in established firms. It offers intrapreneurship solutions globally and helps create an entrepreneurial culture within large organizations. The Corporate Startup program enables employees to develop and implement innovative solutions, thereby adding value for the organization’s stakeholders.
Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs share similar qualities, such as agility, creativity, enthusiasm, and vision. However, they are different in the ways they operate. While startups create new products and services, established companies seek to develop drive ventures, create innovative cultures, and improve their performance. Intrapreneurs are individuals assigned by a company to undertake innovative projects at the company’s risk and resources.
At Aalto University, we are dedicated to developing and nurturing the intrapreneurs' entrepreneurial mindset.
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Corporate intrapreneurs need a similar mindset, skills and experience as startup entrepreneurs. However, there are differences as well. For example, an established organization might have the right skills needed to market and sell its products, but these operations might be overly rigid and lengthy, taking a long time to initiate and complete. The ideal recipe for success combines the appropriate core competences and skills with an adequate entrepreneurial mindset and experience. They are also considered the fundamentals that Aalto ENT offers in its entrepreneurship programs for both startups and corporate executives.
Large companies strive on having innovative cultures within their thick walls. As the saying goes, “the harder you try, the harder you fall.” Governments, municipalities, startups, and large companies alike need innovation clusters to support learning, share and develop products and services, and build business networks.
In addition to having strong communities and cultures, companies nowadays look for collaboration and co-creation among different stakeholders. There is a genuine belief that startups and corporations can learn from each other. For startups, established companies can be partners or customers, while companies believe that startups are a platform for a cheaper, better, easier, and faster access to knowledge, research, and development and/or markets. Both are also seeking partnerships to create value for their customers via strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, and/or non-competitive agreements. Value is king!
At Aalto EE, participants will learn about the latest research on and methods of capturing and delivering value via partnerships, value-based selling, and business model innovation.
Successful entrepreneurs possess interpersonal and teamwork skills. They excel at both self-management and managing others and are great at pitching, communicating, networking, motivating, persuading others, and negotiating. They must be able to make the right decisions even in the most unusual situations. Is it about leadership or management? Is it more about having the experience or acquiring a particular skill? Or is it about having the right attitude towards continuous development and learning?
Developing interpersonal and leadership skills is one of Aalto ENT’s core competences and makes us one of the best executive education providers in the world.
Large companies are setting up transformational programs that aim at instilling an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset within their corporate culture. Their vision is to integrate a corporate accelerator program with a synergistic executive education curriculum. The objective is to empower their leaders to live entrepreneurship and innovation via an accelerator program that puts them side by side with real startup entrepreneurs.
At the same time, these leaders will complement their startup experiences with state-of-the-art executive education in entrepreneurship innovation and leadership. Three key outcomes for participants in this program is to gain targeted capabilities, bring back a strong innovative mindset and practices that will benefit the organization and support its transformation, and learn how to best cooperate and partner with startups. An example is the Stora Enso Accelerator Program focusing on digitalization, co-created with Aalto ENT and Vertical Accelerator. Soon, large firms from different backgrounds and disciplines will adopt similar programs to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, skills, and experience in their own area of focus.
Let us help you find the best solutions for you and your company.