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For most companies, a CEO who is forced to constantly share their attention is a sure way to end the business. Directors must focus on successful growth and must not develop and consolidate new projects.
That’s why so many of the most innovative companies like Google Ventures, Target and Dell, as well as venture capital funds like Accel Partners and Battery Ventures invest s in Residence (EIR). Large universities such as Harvard Business School and MIT also have EIRs, and colleges and universities even offer educational programs to develop these profiles.
Hiring an EIR may not seem intuitive to entrepreneurs, but this work strategy can help a small business or startup use their core competencies so that the CEO can focus on common issues while a trusted intrapreneur or intrapreneur works on new initiatives.
In my case, as part of my efforts to set up and expand BlueBox Ventures, the largest corporate enterprise in Latam, I put all my attention and focus on the core of our business. However, I found that reaching a certain level of success can be distracting because there are so many opportunities that I couldn’t use them on my own.
If you are in a similar position, a symbiotic solution is to invest in an EIR as an internal partner. An EIR can give your company a strategic advantage by starting exciting new ventures while improving your own leadership skills. What about the benefits for the companies involved? Here I mention four.
1. Facilitate strategic growth. In today’s business environment, internal entrepreneurship has become a necessary product. Although the concept of intrapreneurs has existed in companies of all sizes for decades, this type of profile is beginning to penetrate as part of their culture. Intrapreneurship (entrepreneurship within a larger organization) faces a radical change in the way companies scale and expand their offerings.
This new generation of employees is represented by the most progressive and innovative minds. For this reason, companies that want to use their potential to create special projects from scratch must maintain an intrapreneurial mindset in their organizations.
EIRs make sense for any company that wants to develop new products or services
2. Add the CEO. CEOs need to select EIRs whose talents play, are independent and are proactive. For example, to manage new talents for the project so they don’t need anyone to open more doors for them. Rather, they need the company’s already installed infrastructure, accelerate the manufacture and compliance with products or services. The role of the CEO is more like a mentor than a boss of the entrepreneur.
3. Manage the portfolio of companies. EIRs can run companies and / or derivatives and businesses and exempt the CEO from these activities if the company gains new market share and target groups.
If companies decide that it makes sense to use their employees’ expertise to expand their offering, an EIR is commissioned to manage the business and launch new internal brands and products. Since CEOs can typically spend about 5% of their time on new projects, the EIR begins by designing and executing the first drafts of the business model.
EIRs also help founders avoid the pitfalls, become parallel entrepreneurs, or start a business at the same time. Like HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, who learned it the hard way: The operation of two startups essentially fails because a CEO cannot carry out two all-consuming projects. However, EIRs can lift some burdens on the success of both companies.
4. Focus on essential operations. EIRs should have sufficient autonomy to analyze details and meet customer requirements. EIR Jewel Burks from Google, for example, helps small businesses by optimizing their efforts online and advising their teams. EIRs need to dig deeper and work at this detailed level and provide the specific services that customers require.
In another case, if companies have problems with portfolio compliance, EIRs can help the team review and redesign their entire process without “shop blindness”. It becomes strategic for the CEO to closely accompany him to answer questions and solve operational problems.
EIRs can also involve team members and keep them up to date on projects as needed. In this way, companies can use the strengths and expertise of their employees to solve certain problems without everyone having to be on board from the start.
Companies with EIR not only benefit from intrapreneurs who develop new initiatives, but can also retain their best employees in the long term.
In the meantime, EIRs complement the strengths of their CEOs, take advantage of the strategic advantages of their companies and increase the advantage of their brands. Since both sides see such incredible mutual benefits, this is a win-win situation.