Professional Development Blog
Introducing the X-Corp: Exit Strategy Thinking

Introducing the X-Corp: Exit Strategy Thinking

Rob Hoehn, Chief Executive Officer, Ideascale

Duration: 24:17 mins

Discussion Questions:

What X-prise could you form? What problems need to be solved?


IdeaScale CEO, Rob Hoehn, had the opportunity to give the keynote to NextGen’s eager and alert crowd of gen X and gen Yers. So what knowledge did Hoehn want to impart on the next generation?

Legacy does not imply success:
As a well aged innovator, Rob Hoehn has seen companies begin and end, and begin and hold on… and on… and on. Just standing the test of time does not result in a good grade for a company or organization. Who benefits when a large corporation stays in the spotlight for decades by constantly changing, just to stay alive?

Mission first:
Success can only truly be measured by impact. What would happen if all companies were guided by mission, rather than profit, or longevity? Hoehn explained, on the battle field it is easy for an army to be splintered – every man for himself, how can an force be guided during battle? Commander’s intent. Commander’s intent is the heart of a battle, the strategical core established before battle begins. In essence, it is the one thing that each soldier must hold in mind, no matter what happens, each choice will now be made based on this unified mission.

Hoehn dared the audience, what if we all started making career choices, mission first? What if we only enter into positions as we would battle – choosing opportunities based on a rallying mission cry, and then exiting when the mission had been accomplished? What if businesses were built mission first? The resources, the intelligence, the skills and the knowledge required all coming together to accomplish one unifying goal. And then dissolving, upon completion, rather than digging in, and holding on just for the sake of legacy.

Why open innovation?
Open innovation isn’t the future. Open innovation is the best tool we have, right now, to create a mission driven future. It allows the thinkers, the critics, and the experts to work together to form mission, objectives, and a plan.

How can an innovation platform enable X-corp thinking?
An innovation campaign is just that: a campaign. It’s focused, it has a destination, and the dialogue has depth. Activity grows around ideas that resonate, from an idea that will really change the way a department interacts in an internal community, to a new product suggestion the crowd cannot wait to experience in a consumer filled, external community. Through focused campaigns on an innovation platform, any mission can be raised and resolved, in time to start on the next.