Episode #276: The Corporate Startup with Dan Toma

Dan Toma is the co-author The Corporate Startup: How Established Companies Can Develop Successful Innovation Ecosystems.

Puzzled by the questions ‘why are innovative products mainly launched by startups?’, Toma focuses on enterprise innovation strategy - specifically on the changes blue-chip organizations need to make to allow for new ventures to be built in a corporate setting, and has worked with the likes of Deutsche Telekom, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Bayer, John Deere or Allianz.

Dan holds a dual degree MBA from Bradford University and TiasNimbas Business School while being certified lean startup acceleration specialist by Columbia University through the Lean Launchpad program.

We riffed on all things corporate innovation, viable alternatives to common pitfalls and given Dan’s Romanian heritage, the 94 Romanian World Cup team.

On corporate innovation, expect to learn about:

  • An innovation thesis and why your company needs one
  • Why it’s imperative to get the plumbing right by building an innovation ecosystem
  • The importance of getting the metrics right and going beyond mere activity metrics to what Dan calls impact metrics

We covered a lot more ground in this conversation that will be of serious interest to intrapreneurs so sit back, relax or enjoy your walk, workout or wherever you happen to be listening to this, for my conversation with yet another critical thinker on the topic of corporate innovation and on thriving under conditions of uncertainty,  Dan Toma.

Topics Discussed:

  • Dan’s background
  • Why companies need an innovation thesis
  • The paradox of innovation within a large company
  • What is an innovation thesis and why do companies need one?
  • Why startups aren’t a smaller version of a large company and vice versa
  • Lessons from venture capital
  • How to build an innovation ecosystem
  • Why metrics for sustaining innovation don’t support adjacent or disruptive innovation
  • Diversity not just of what you can see, but what you can’t see - in particular, how people think
  • Budgeting for corporate innovation
  • Lean leadership
  • Success stories and case studies
  • The value of premortems and retrospectives to get buy-in for ‘iterative’ ways of doing things
  • How to support the taking of lots of small bets instead of few large ones

Show Notes:

I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you’d like to receive a weekly email from me, complete with reflections, books I’ve been reading, words of wisdom and access to blogs, ebooks and more that I’m publishing on a regular basis, just leave your details at www.futuresquared.xyz/subscribe and you’ll receive the very next one.

Listen on Apple Podcasts @ goo.gl/sMnEa0

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Terminator clips sourced from www.terminatorfiles.com and intellectual property of Tristar Pictures. 



September 15, 2018




Steve Glaveski

Future Squared


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