The Employee Innovator - Book by Kaihan Krippendorff



Available now!

Driving innovation from inside of an organization has become the central determinant of organizational success today. Employees are the number one source of innovative growth options and the only remaining source of sustainable competitive advantage. Arming them with the skills and tools necessary to innovate on a continual basis is of paramount importance to any organization with aspirations to remain relevant in the future.

Kaihan dispels the myth of the visionary startup company that disrupts the world as being the primary source of innovation. Kaihan shows how large, established organizations are the true innovators and how they can be a place where both incremental and revolutionary ideas and innovations come to life.

Creating the culture, structure, and organizational environment needed to enable continual employee-driven innovation is no easy task. Driving Innovation From Within assembles insights from over 150 interviews with internal entrepreneurs and experts into a practical guide for leaders and employees alike – proving the toolkit, frameworks, and know how they need to transform their organizations and drive growth by activating employee-driven innovation and entrepreneurship.

Kaihan Krippendorff’s latest work, Driving Innovation from Within, is based on three years of intensive research, built on the latest thinking and experiences of experts, employee innovators, insights from top strategists from the Outthinker Strategy Network, leading companies who have cracked the code of organic innovation, and Kaihan’s practical consulting experience, which has generated $2.5B in new revenue for his clients. Let Kaihan arm you and your employees with the right strategies, tools, and know-how to spark entrepreneurial behavior, drive a culture of innovation, and make your company move faster than ever before while using fewer resources.


  • Intent – Can you activate your employees to have the intent to innovate?
  • Need – Do you understand what the market needs, what the organization needs, and your organization’s strategy?
  • Options – Are you able to create lots of interesting options, ie, do you have the creative capacity to generate ideas for innovation?
  • Value blockers –Are you able to overcome value blockers if the new idea conflicts with your current business model?
  • Act – Can you take action and experiment or prototype your ideas?
  • Team – Can you assemble a cross-functional team that has the right attributes needed to ramp up the innovation up quickly?
  • Environment – Can you manage environmental factors (leadership, culture, structure, and talent)?



Zachary Ness


Praise for Driving Innovation From Within

“Amidst great global competition and rapid technology shifts, continuous innovation is what drives long-term impact and success. And the number one source of innovation for companies is their own employees. Kaihan shows how large organizations, not just startups, can be a place where entrepreneurs innovate, build, and adapt for the future.”

~ Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn and co-author of Blitzscaling

“This smart and wide-ranging book will convince you that it's often more promising to be an ‘intrapreneur' -- someone who innovates from within an established organization -- than an entrepreneur. If you work for an organization and are itching to become more creative — to tap the resources of your company to create something amazing — DRIVING INNOVATION FROM WITHIN is an essential read.”

~ Daniel H. Pink, Author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human

“Innovation is the lifeblood of every great company - the key is to identify it and then nurture it to success. Krippendorff’s book is a useful guide that any business, government, and organization should read to ignite innovation from the bottom up.”

~ Parker Harris, Salesforce Co-Founder

“Innovation and creativity can come anytime, from anywhere. Companies planning to succeed far into the future have to accept that the best ideas don't come from working in siloes – and may even seem to go against the strategies that have driven past success. But game-changing, innovative ideas can be fostered within organizations by embracing collaboration, co-creation and diversity of thought. Kaihan provides practical, actionable steps for breaking down siloes, igniting the drive to collaborate and accepting the new opportunities that will soon come your way.”

~ Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard

"Kaihan’s description of the six attributes of successful corporate intraprenuers and the seven barriers that they face make this book required reading for anyone who wants to innovate inside of a company."

~ Steve Blank, Innovation Guru, Creator of the Lean Startup Movement

“Driving innovation from within' is a fresh new approach of how to succeed in our highly uncertain business climate.”

~ Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Thinkers 50 - #1 Executive Coach and the only two-time #1 Leadership Thinker in the World

"This book speaks a truth: most innovation isn’t the realm of entrepreneurs, it occurs as smart leaders unleash the creativity and intelligence of their teams, turning employees into world-class innovators. And, while many books offer tools that might work, this one offers tools that have been proven to work at the most innovative companies. How refreshing."

~ Liz Wiseman, Author of New York Times bestseller Multipliers and Rookie Smarts

"Startups get the headlines, but established companies are often the real innovation heroes. Driving Innovation From Within is chock full of examples and tools to help internal innovators combine entrepreneurial energy with assets of scale to innovate with impact."

~ Scott D. Anthony, Senior Partner, Innosight, author of Dual Transformation and The Little Black Book of Innovation

“In Driving Innovation From Within, Kaihan shares a toolset and process companies and employees can leverage to bring ideas, both incremental and transformative, to fruition, to change the world and create a better future.”

~ Stuart Crainer, Co-founder of Thinkers50

"Kaihan Krippendorff has written a stunningly engaging book on innovation that is as smart as it is practical."

~ Amy C. Edmondson, Professor, Harvard Business School, Author of The Fearless Organization

“Transformation cannot happen through leadership alone. Kaihan’s work provides compelling evidence that inspiring and empowering people broadly throughout the organization is the only way to sustain change and achieve agile and innovative growth. It includes an interesting framework on how to merge the advantages of scale with the agility of a startup”

~ Maeve Coburn. Senior Vice President, Learning for Transformation, L’Oréal

"Would-be innovators inside large organization often come to realize their organizations' culture, mindset, and processes fight them at every turn. Kaihan offers a practical set of tools that can help internal entrepreneurs better their odds against the large corporations that seem to ask for innovation but seem to fight it at every turn. He blends critical innovation concepts, from hypothesis-based experimentation to shifting from an operational into an innovation mindset, into promising process anyone can follow."

~ Vijay Govindarajan, Coxe Distinguished Professor at Tuck at Dartmouth, and NYT and WSJ Best-Selling Author

"Kaihan’s book gives us two precious gifts. First, a much-needed new narrative – big organizations CAN BE and ARE innovative; the “hero innovator” story in fact happens more frequently and successfully within large organizations vs. startups! Second, it provides a practical path and tools for those unsung intrapreneurial heroes - and their leaders - to create innovation-enabled organizations."

~ Kalina Nikolova, VP Strategy and Operations, Verizon Media

"Using examples that range from McDonald's McPizza to Microsoft's X-box, Kaihan teases out core principles of why some large companies succeed at innovating well and others fail. A must-read for those inside established companies who wish to cultivate the seemingly crazy ideas that change our world. In other words -- Loonshots for "intrapreneurs".

~ Safi Bahcall, physicist, entrepreneur, and author of the WSJ bestseller LOONSHOTS

“8Ps” of StrategyOpportunity
for Disruption
Recommended Leverage Points
Position- The farmers, individual and corporate, that you are targeting.

- The need of the agricultural industry that you seek to fill.
3- What technologies do you control that can help you tap into market
segments that you previously thought unreachable?

- What are the potential business alliances you could think about with key players in the segment to serve your customers with integrated solutions? (Serving customers with more integrated solutions example: serving farmers with fertilizers, crop protection and other).
Product- The products you offer, and the characteristics that affect their value to customers.

- The technology you develop for producing those products.
8- What moves are your organization taking to implement Big Data and analytics to your operations? What IoT and blockchain applications can you use?

- What tools and technology could you utilize or develop to improve food quality, traceability, and

- How can you develop a more sustainable production model to accommodate constraints on arable

- What is the future business model needed to serve new differentiated products to your customers?
Promotion- How you connect with farmers and consumers across a variety of locations and industries.
- How to make consumers, producers, and other stakeholders aware of your products and services.
8- How are you connecting your product with individual and corporate farms who could utilize it?
- How could you anticipate market and customer needs to make customers interested in accessing your differentiated products?
PriceHow consumers and other members of the agricultural supply chain pay for access to agricultural products.7- What elements of value comprise your pricing? How do each of those elements satisfy the varying needs of your customers?
Placement- How food products reach consumers. How the technologies, data, and services reach stakeholders in the supply chain.9- What new paths might exist for helping consumers access the food they desire?
- How are you adapting your operations and supply chain to accommodate consumers’ desire for proximity to the food they eat?
- How could you anticipate customer expectation to make products more
accessible to customers/agile supply chain?
- Have you considered urbanization as a part of your growth strategy?
- How your food satisfies the needs and desires of your customer.
- How the services you provide to agribusiness fulfill their needs.
9- Where does your food rate on a taste, appearance, and freshness
- Could the services you provide to companies and farms in the agriculture industry be expanded to meet more needs?
- What senses does your food affect besides hunger? How does your
customer extract value from your food in addition to consumption?
Processes- Guiding your food production operations in a manner cognizant of social pressure.8- How can you manage the supply chain differently to improve traceability and reduce waste?
- How can you innovate systems in production, processing, storing, shipping, retailing, etc.?
- What are new capabilities to increase sustainability (impact on the environment, or ESG) components?
People- The choices you make regarding hiring, organizing, and incentivizing your people and your culture.- How are you leveraging the agricultural experience of your staff bottom-up to achieve your vision?
- How do you anticipate new organizational capabilities needed to perform your future strategy (innovation, exponential technologies needed, agile customer relationship, innovative supply chain)?
- How do you manage your talents to assure suitable development with exposure in the agrifood main challenges/allowing a more sustainable view of the opportunities/cross-sectors?