• Jonathan Bertfield

Innovation Team Investing: Behind the Growth Board Decisions


Managing a portfolio of innovation teams is key in deploying Lean Startup at scale. Digesting the evidence they present demands a shift in how leaders operate. What’s going on in the minds of growth board members as they make investment decisions?

When we convene a growth board, we have a clear outcome in mind: Identify the opportunities in our pipeline that are worthy of continued financial support. The innovation teams that can demonstrate traction in the market get funding; those who can’t, don’t.

On its face this is a simple proposition, so the job should be easy for growth board members. But over four years supporting and coaching dozens of innovation growth boards in large corporations and government agencies, I’ve seen that it’s actually anything but. Let’s examine where growth board members tend to struggle and how to mitigate those challenges.


Breaking down the growth board mindset for more effective innovation teams

For the purposes of this post we’ll use Angela as the name of our growth board member. One way of visualizing what’s going on in Angela’s mind is to think of the decision process as a juggling act. In that scenario, these are the balls that Angela and her fellow growth board decision makers have in the air:

  1. Evidence from startup teams about traction emerging from their experiments.

  2. Legacy market knowledge competing with new market and product realties.

  3. Alignment of the opportunities to the strategic vision and Innovation Portfolio.

Let’s look at them one by one:.................


Read the rest of Jonathan's article on LeanStartup.co