Pan African Bank – a lesson in “Intrapraneurship”


We assumed the role of…

What I learned from taking this course:

  • Portfolio: I learned what a portfolio even is and how it’s important to keep in mind when operating within a company and considering to produce new products/offerings.
  • Innovation in large companies: This is very different than being innovative in a small company or even a startup, however is just as important in the success and longevity of the business.
  • Importance of finances: At the end of the day, everything requires money to operate, so when pitching or introducing a new product, you need to include the numbers and show how the company will benefit via profit / bottom line.
  • Decision body: Reporting back after the meeting is incredibly important make sure that all parties are on the same page moving forward.
  • Taking a project through phases and pitching to a decision body
  • Tell them, tell them, tell them
  • Critical innovation factors
    • Strong strategic direction
    • Skilled Innovative Leaders
      • Create safe environment
    • Processes for employees to give ideas, show them they’re of value.
  • Barriers to innovation
    • Leadership doesn’t drive innovation
    • No strategic alignment
    • Complicated system
    • No tracking, collaboration, recognition, or involvement of customer
    • Budget
    • Strictly for R&D
  • Innovation is something that has value

What I would like to be added to the course:

  • More examples of how companies other than DuPont are innovative, how their styles differ or are similar might be helpful.
  • How to start a career in product development. I became very interested in the field and would love to know how to get in.
  • How the same thinking can be applied to a startup. We talked about it a bit, but for the sake of this being a Horn course, might be very helpful to further that dialogue.
  • How to actually create/model an innovative organization. The flow chart explaining the hierarchy of a company was very eye opening and it would be cool to attempt to create our own corporate structure from scratch. This might help to understand it further.
  • When agreeing to a decision goes wrong…



What it was like being a part of a decision body:


  • Working as a team: I really enjoy working in teams and being able to bounce ideas off of each other. It was cool to see how people’s different perspectives on life brought about different questions.

What made it easy or difficult to come to a decision?  Was group decision making more difficult?

  • The decision bodies weren’t given enough background on how to operate. I have some knowledge from the App Development class, but not everyone has that same background. A few slides on the process of operating as a decision body might have helped a bit.
  • Would have liked more collaboration as a decision body through hearing everyone’s views. This requires setting the environment up so that everyone knew their input has value and would want to contribute to the conversation fully.
  • Coming to a consensus was simple most times but that may have been for sake of time and speeding things along. I’m not sure that we really dove deep enough into such important decisions being made for a large company.

Notes for a good decision body

  • As a leader, make decisions as a group. Innovation is collaborative.
  • Ask presenters to leave room
  • Collaborative decision making is important, not voting.
  • Following a specific style and/or process allows faster decision making.
  • Presentation slides recommendations
    • Limit the words
      • Handouts provided to the decision body can have more details and explanations.
    • Paint as much of a complete a picture as possible.
      • This is what we’ve done, this is where we are
    • Clean, clear, concise message and presentation
    • Include things like the ways in which you are measuring success.
  • As a decision body
    • Within 24 hours after the meeting, send the presenting group a summary.

What they heard and what you said might have been different (close the loop).

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