Entrepreneurism and startup culture are two key buzz words in every large organization these days. Most companies when talking about entrepreneurship focus on innovating further on their existing products and services with the intention of simplifying their customer experiences. A small percentage of the organizations in addition to its focus on innovation also takes an equal drive towards venturing by the creation of new business models, expanding their overall competitiveness in the marketplace. Venturing has larger organizational risks and typically new ventures are often launched by organizations that have successfully fostered the culture of corporate entrepreneurship and innovation across all business functions. When every department in the company has tasted the success through innovation in product and process to technology and administration then they have naturally built the competences needed to launch new ventures and in becoming the leader in renewing their industry. So, how can every large organization truly spread the entrepreneurial culture across all departments and become the leader of their industry or even create entirely new (hyper) industry?

Most large organizations run several enterprise wide transformation projects involving cross-functional teams, which are typically lead by fully capable project/ program managers from within the PMO. This is because the PMO always holds responsibility for end-end project delivery in addition to having the maturity on utilizing the right tools and processes to successfully deliver complex projects in the organization’s landscape. Now another aspect of driving business forward, especially in this period of increased competition, is the ability to deliver faster with relatively less time to market which directly impacts the overall growth performance of the company. Being agile is not a single set of strict guidelines, but rather is a commitment to doing whatever will make the organization as fast and efficient as possible, meaning it is not limited to just projects. I am sure we all understand and can rationalize that an agile way of working is fundamental for infusing entrepreneurship across the company.

The common challenge in making the shift towards being agile and infusing corporate entrepreneurship is the mindset and the culture people are used to within the company. Many companies have made this shift happen by the means of leadership story-telling which always contains authenticity, energy, credibility and naturally embodies the change the leaders seek. This is an important leadership technique as the stories the leaders tell resonates, generating creativity and initiates the transformation for becoming agile. Now the most important thing is to create those success stories within the organization itself, so the leaders can embrace on a major change and propel forward in to the future. Now the proven success stories are built from selecting all high-profile projects in the organizations and executing it in a way how start-up companies operate and deliver their products or services. The first step in doing this is by raising the standards of the PMO by infusing it with needed mandates, culture, capabilities and environment to deliver such projects. The PMO project managers can then take on such projects to build and expand on the culture, internal branding and communications by sharing the success stories about their projects across the organization. Needless to say, a project team consists of stakeholders from cross-functional teams, senior managers and sponsors that can make the paradigm shift happen by naturally injecting the agile culture in a quick and efficient way through leadership story telling based on project success. This can quickly become visible to the top management that shall soon recognize the capabilities that has been built in the business needed to make their next generation shift in truly making the transformation in tuning their current business model, to renew their industry and in creating spin-off companies therefore maximizing their growth potential.

The PMO is crucial in building the blocks for success. It is also important that every project manager in the PMO truly believes and shares the vision towards infusing agility and entrepreneurship across the organization and additionally plays the role of a pioneer throughout the transformation journey. If you agree on this approach in developing your PMO, feel free to leave your comments below.


Tell me your thoughts in the comments and let’s open a dialog. I would be excited to hear other opinions on this topic.

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Arun Nalliannan

Arun Nalliannan

Contributing Author

Arun is a dynamic transformational and business change leader with experience in running high profile technology projects in his organization. He has demonstrated skills in successfully delivering projects in unique ways by fostering innovation, continuous improvement and entrepreneurial mindset among the project team members.

He is also a Prince2 practitioner and a certified scrum master.

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