I was watching the most recent Mastercard commercial the other day, and it really got me thinking. Innovation really goes hand in hand with entrepreneurship. The tagline in the commercial is “for those who never stop pursuing their dreams, there’s Mastercard”.
If we want to encourage innovation, then we should be encouraging entrepreneurship. It all starts with education. President Obama has been really trying to promote innovation in America, but hasn’t quite laid out a plan to get this going. I am telling him now that he should be funding entrepreneurship classes in schools, ideally at all levels, not just college. Have entrepreneurs come in to classrooms and answer questions, or give advice to students. That is how we can achieve true innovation in America. Let’s mould the children to start thinking more entrepreneurially.
This can also work at a company level. One client who I have consulted, who will remain nameless, did something very innovative with their idea management program. This is a great piece of advice to any innovation management practitioner, so listen up. The ideas that the organization was going to pursue were turned into more than just simple projects with project managers, teams, etc… These ideas were treated as start-ups, and the idea submitter would be the “CEO”, and he could pick his team, for CFO, CMO, etc…This initiative was pretty innovative in itself, and I really respect that this company did this. This creates that entrepreneurial spark, and really gets people passionate about the idea, and in turn, allows the idea to be built up better, faster, and smarter.
I’d like to point to a program called 1millionX1million. It is a program that was started by someone who I really respect, named Sramana Mitra. She is a legend in Silicon Valley, and writes one of the most interesting blogs out there.
From her website: “One Million by One Million is a global initiative that aims to help a million entrepreneurs reach a million dollars in annual revenue by 2020, thereby creating a trillion dollars in global GDP and ten million jobs.”
It is a very ambitious goal for anyone, but I truly believe it is possible, and I do hope she reaches her goal. I encourage everyone that reads this post to check out her blog for further reading, and to help spread the word about the 1millionX1million initiative. I have no relationship with Sramana, and am strictly doing this because I believe in the vision that much.
Here is the Mastercard commercial for your viewing pleasure.
Jake Shriar is the VP of Marketing for BrainBank Inc. Prior to joining BrainBank, Jake was the Founder and CEO of Smart Guy Media, a social media marketing company.