Yesterday, I went to visit Telefonica in Slough and visited with Shomila Malik. It's a remarkable project -- a start-up within a large company investigating the ways in which innovation can both benefit the larger corporate venture and smaller tech stars who could create new possibilities if brought in.
Shomila is remarkable herself. With the background of a programmer, she began by creating prototypes and sold them in through demonstration to make Telefonica meet customer needs more fully.
It's a trend that is catching on. As a pitch coach and brand consultant, businesses like The Lab seem like an obvious move for most big businesses. After many interviews of intrapraneurs elsewhere, the trick seems to be selling in the new ideas, even after the structures are in place to house them.
Too often, innovators get frustrated and leave. Larger companies, then, are left, dinosaur-like, and unable to move swiftly enough with the trends. If anyone has seen a solution to this problem, please let me know. I'm collecting stories, and I'll publish them in time.