When a company's growth begins to dwindle, boardroom meetings grow strained and the finger pointing starts.
Executives cry out, "We need a new strategy! We need to hire better people! Our culture is to blame! Our compensation is wrong!"
The founder, if he or she is still around, sadly states, "We have more people, resources, and money than ever. But now we are so big we can't even get out of our own way!"
Embarrassed, a politically perceptive staffer serves up a popular buzzword. "Intrapreneurs! What our company needs are Intrapreneurs!"
The "hip" executive explains that Intrapreneurs are "Inside Entrepreneurs" who will follow their founder's example. The Intrapreneur, he or she promises, will buck the corporate malaise, risk his or her career to get things done and, is willing to "do the right thing to serve the customer".
As everyone looks around the room for this potential savior of growth, what do they see?
Executives' eyes around the table react in three different ways:
What happens? Management chooses an Intrapreneur hoping that this "champion" is victorious. If successful, will this person become the company's leader? On the other hand, will he or she leave and become an Entrepreneur? Too often, the budding Intrapreneur is "beaten" into submission by, and is "forced" to rejoin the first group.
Despite their righteousness, why don't more Intrapreneurs succeed?
Because in doing what is right, Intrapreneurs hold a mirror up to their peers, forcing them to confront what they and their company have become. Just like a middle-aged, weekend warrior exercising after years of complacency, when a staid company tries to perform like a growth business, the picture is not very pretty.
Through my years in Corporate America and now as a consultant, I have both served as or have coached many Intrapreneurs in developing products, markets, distribution channels, and applications. For business owners attempting to create Intrapreneurs in their companies here is what succeeds and what fails.
Intrapreneurs succeed when you as the owner...
Intrapreneurs fail when you as the owner tolerate…
When You Are The Intrapreneur, What Should You Do?
If you, the Intrapreneur, are offered such a firm-changing opportunity, consider this. You may have the change to take your career to new heights by helping to drive the future of your company. Whether you are asked to develop a product, service, channel, or application, will you make your mark or seal your fate? Should you seize the moment, pass on the opportunity or leave to become an entrepreneur?
Seize the moment when:
Entrepreneurs vs. Intrapreneurs
Let's face it, when under pressure to grow, organizations of all kinds look to their roots and their previous successes for answers. Rekindling business growth inside an organization often represents the toughest challenge to a maturing organization. Can it regain its entrepreneurial spirit and continue to thrive despite its mature culture? By turning to Intrapreneurs, the company hopes it can have the best of both worlds. It can work if owners follow the above steps.
Intrapreneurs, by definition, embody the same characteristics as the Entrepreneur, conviction, passion, and drive. The more the Intrapreneur expresses himself, the more the company is forced to confront its own effectiveness. If the company is supportive, the Intrapreneur succeeds. When the organization is not, the Intrapreneur usually fails or leaves to start a new company.
In closing, every effective worker has Intrapreneurial traits that may or may not culminate in an Entrepreneurial life. Ask yourself how close are you to becoming an Entrepreneur? Your answer will help you to decide whether you should stay or go!
Source: Andy Birol, http://khalil.wikidot.com/entrepreneurs-vs-intrapreneurs
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