An IBI must operate like a hybrid between a startup and a mature business. To strike this balance, a company has to be willing to modify its organizational structure to accommodate both mindsets among employees involved in inclusive innovations.10 It’s not easy to develop a new organizational structure within a well-established large company. But an operating model that drives IBI success often requires a unique organizational structure. The common need of IBIs to engage several local stakeholders is just one example of why many IBIs need a unique reporting structure to achieve success. However, IBI managers often lack the decision-making autonomy and resources to test and develop the right structure. Accordingly, they need to be able to judge early-on how much leeway they will have to vary from the company’s legacy operating model.
Gaining top leadership buy-in Without the necessary resources provided by top management, IBIs almost always falter in their pursuit of business profits. Top leadership buy-in provides an IBI manager with the space and resources to experiment with and implement pioneering business practices. Such backing can also help secure organization-wide support for an inclusive business initiative. Most important, it creates a strong platform for external stakeholders with whom the project team may want to partner to achieve scale.