„Chris, we have to implement a fundamental change in the way we offer our services to our customers. But the daily business kills innovative ideas / projects even before achieving any tangible results“. This is how an Executive Manager at Munich Re, approached me in autumn 2015. „I want you as an entrepreneur to help me. Drive this project from scratch like you managed your startups“… Most of my intrapreneurship somehow start like this.
Discovery and Validation: I took over the lead for an innovation idea which was a result of a design thinking workshop. I constantly refined, prototyped and tested the product as well as the business model hypotheses together with the business sponsor and his team to form a corporate startup ready for investment.
Validation and Incubation: Having achieved the internal investment, I empowered the team to develop and implement a minimum viable service as a baseline in collaboration with two pilot customers as well as to develop a business-strategy to scale that service.
Scale Up: I continued to work as an interim project manager enabling the growing team to continuously adapt the service offers to the demands of a growing, global customer base, maintaining an entrepreneurial subculture within corporate structures.
As it might be of special interest, this is how we got from a blank sheet of paper to a digital product, successfully implemented and a running team within 16 months.
I started with organizing three workshops for the whole team:
– Anticipating customer needs with design thinking methods to develop ideas
– Evaluation of the ideas to identify the three most promising ideas
– Deciding on a mission and vision to establish an unalterable basis of who we are, where we want to be, and what values we want to serve to our internal and external customers
Using the principles of lean project management I build prototypes and used them to evaluate the potential of every one of the three ideas in interaction with internal and external customers.
Two months later I presented the results. The Business sponsor and I chose one of the service ideas as our main area of focus: „Realytix“, a platform to get quotes for reinsurance covers immediately was born.
2. In the second phase, I groomed a feasible business concept and launched a minimum viable product, supported by internal resources as well as digital freelancers from my personal network. We pitched internally for investment to Roll-Out. Successfully – a few weeks later we moved to a office at the incubator of the Technical University of Munich (TU Munich; „Techfounders“).
3. This is when the third phase started: I led the team to implement version 1.0 of Realytix as a baseline at one of our pilot customers as well as to develop a business-strategy to scale that service. In a “training-on-the-job-manner” I taught them how to use methods like scrum to establish an “entrepreneurial subculture”.
Summer 1st, 2016, after 16 months, I left an independent team of 10 people, running a service in one country, improving their product iteratively, using scrum as a project management method and prepared to pitch for the next round of investment to prove global scalability.
Since then, I constantly continued to help the team in Scale-Up to keep their customer-oriented, agile and lean working-mode.