In many situations, promising ideas emerge from the lower levels of an organization, only to be…

In many situations, promising ideas emerge from the lower levels of an organization, only to be discarded before they can be implemented. It was only extraordinary tenacity and disregard for the policy of selling only corporate-approved drinks that permitted the Frappuccino to “bloom” within Starbucks (see Strategy Highlight 2.2). Some scholars have suggested that companies set aside up to 2 percent of their budgets for any manager with budget control to be able to invest in new ideas within the company.57 Thus, someone with a $100,000 annual budget to manage would be able to invest $2,000 in cash or staff time toward such a project. Multiple managers could go in together for somewhat larger funds or time amounts. Through such a process, the organization could generate a network of “angel investors.” Small funds or staff time could be invested in a variety of projects. Approval mechanisms would be easier for these small “seed-stock” ideas, to give them a chance to develop before going for bigger funding at the top levels of the organization. What problems would need to be addressed to introduce this angel-network idea into a firm? Use a firm someone in your group has worked for or knows well to discuss possible issues of widely distributing small funding level approvals across the firm.

 

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