Lean Scaleup Roundtable: How to mitigate the incompatibilities between Core and Innovation?

by Lean Scaleup | January 11, 2023
Lean Scaleup Roundtable: How to mitigate the incompatibilities between Core and Innovation?

How do you mitigate the inevitable tensions between NOW and NEW when you build new businesses inside a corporate?

Today, we had the first Lean Scaleup Roundtable in 2023.

A Roundtable is a (free) monthly virtual meeting of minds with peer practitioners and experts. We share Best Practices, one new-business building topic at a time.

Participants report that they get an acceleration of their learning cycle, fresh perspectives, illuminating examples and insights into what works and what doesn’t.

Tensions between Core and a rapidly scaling new business are inevitable.

Why is this so? These two value creation systems are incompatible. They operate in different environments (knowns vs. unknowns, process-driven vs. learning, short-term vs. long-term).

During Scaling-Up, these tensions materialize. Tensions can be found in how the respective organizations move ahead, governance, talent and skills, organization and structure, metrics, and other dimensions.

Wise innovators anticipate these tensions. They apply proven strategies to mitigate these tensions. But what are these strategies? This was the topic of the Roundtable.


1. Resistance from Core managers might come from concerns about the consequences of the innovation. Concerns like “it will destroy the process control/efficiency that we have built up over the last years” or “it targets opportunities that the company will not be able to exploit.”

Addressing these concerns in a constructive way might be a good approach.

2. Many companies report that Leadership supports innovation, but the support does not move middle management. Wise innovators work with their Leadership on how exactly they should support.

For example, Leadership should tackle fundamental issues when new business models are implemented, or Leadership should help to work out a constructive compromise in how exactly the corporate sales force should engage in selling in the innovation.

3. In many cases, Senior Management does not understand the new stuff that the innovators bring along. They made their career in a company that sold pipes and fittings and now the innovators speak about Internet Of Things, Remote Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance with a twist of Artificial Intelligence.

Wise innovators express the value of the innovation in terms that resonates with the Core business.


“I like the inspiring atmosphere in which we discuss issues that every one of us has.”

“A rich exchange of a variety of experiences.”


The next Roundtable will be a ‘fishbowl discussion’ with a leader of a corporate startup who built up a new USD 1 Billion business.

Will you be there? Sign up here.