Episode 3 of Leading Digital Transformation

Frank Mattes Interviewed

7 out of 8 corporate startups don't generate business impact, but it's not through lack of ideas. Frank Mattes explains why the problem is in the subsequent phase of scaling-up and what companies can do to turn innovation concepts into business impact.

Frank Mattes

In this episode

Today, I’m joined by Frank Mattes from Germany. He is a co-author of the acclaimed book ‘Scaling Up’ in which he and Dr. Ralph-Christian Ohr present a unique framework called Dual Innovation to help address the difficulties many corporates encounter when trying to realise business impact from their non-incremental innovation initiatives.

Frank’s a leading expert on scaling-up corporate start-ups and he’s written the first book on the subject. Together with his clients which are Fortune 10 to Fortune 200 companies and those companies are widely seen as innovation leaders.


On Scaling up Corporate Start-ups by Frank Mattes:

Innovation is about creating business impact from something new. Let’s leave it like this for the time being. So it’s the business impact that we’re interested in. And if you look at an end-to-end innovation process you start off with some insights where things are going, where markets are going, the opportunities that digital is offering, some threats from new market entrants, these kinds of things. Then you drum out ideas on how to capitalise on these things and you check – or ‘validate’ as the experts say: Which of those ideas generated have a problem-solution fit and later on product-market fit?

At the other end of the process, you’ll find that many companies know how to grow a let’s call it ‘sizable business’. So imagine if they buy a digital start-up and the start-up has some millions of revenues and some technology and a customer base, the corporates know how to take it from there. But in-between those two corners, there’s a gap. And the gap is basically taking validated innovation concepts to a meaningful sizable business, from which it can be picked up by corporate. And this is what we call ‘Scaling-Up’.

“Typically, companies have little problems in generating ideas for adjacent, radical or even disruptive innovation and in validating the most promising ideas. On the other end of the process, companies have systems to grow material businesses and incrementally improve their performance over time. But for many companies, the transitional Scaling-Up phase in-between is a ‘Valley-Of-Death’, in which many promising concepts die on their journey from idea to business impact.” ~ Frank Mattes


Listen here and read the full transcript below:

About Leading Digital Transformation

Leading Digital Transformation is a weekly podcast series produced by Rob Llewellyn and The Digital Transformation People. Rob interviews experienced practitioners, authors and thought leaders whose stories and experiences provide valuable insights for digital transformation success.

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