We're purposefully incorporating more entrepreneurship into our product strategy; starting with a base of innovation and disruption, e.g. Peter Drucker, Scott Berkun, and Clay Christensen, to now include bootstrapping and lean startup, e.g. Eric Reis, Steve Blank, and Guy Kawasaki.
Our latest efforts include using the Validation Board to vet early stage ideas, incorporating the mantra of "Get Out of the Building" as a way of asserting we must vet our ideas with real customers - sometimes harder than it should be, and business model definition using the Business Model Canvas.
What we're finding is that people who have this experience are helping us generate and vet ideas with fewer failures than we would have had in the past. Lawton Ursrey, Forbes, asserts:
Companies are finally waking up to the fact that entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinkers can make them more efficient, benefit their bottom line, and create innovation out of nowhere. They are forcing out the old guard who won’t embrace the healthy culture shift. There is a demand for you, your way of thinking, and your way of doing.
I can see this as a next natural evolution for traditional business; continuing to work with those who not only have built, but are continuing to build new businesses. Expertise through execution. I also like Lawson's answer to why entrepreneurs would want to do this including capital (paycheck), industry events, access to resources, and opportunity to explore ideas they may not be able to in their startup. One note though, if a company is serious about this, they have to get rid of the bias against having a "second job" and sort out the ownership issues that likely will arise. This won't be easy for many companies.
But for those companies that can overcome this, it leaves an interesting proposition for innovators:
You can be an entrepreneur. You can work for a company. Or, you can do both.