The Intrapreneur

For the intrapreneurial employee, advice abounds. They are advised to be courageous, moderate risk takers, frugal, flexible, and creative about their pathway. Their task is to put together a team of enthusiastic volunteers, build a network of sponsors, and ask for advice before asking for resources.

Gifford Pinchot's out-of print book "Intrapreneuring, Why You Don't Have to Leave the Corporation to Become an Entrepreneur" provides 10 commandments for intrapreneurs:

  1. Do any job needed to make your project work regardless of your job description.
  2. Share credit wisely.
  3. Remember, it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
  4. Come to work each day willing to be fired.
  5. Ask for advice before asking for resources.
  6. Follow your intuition about people; build a team of the best.
  7. Build a quiet coalition for your idea; early publicity triggers the corporate immune system.
  8. Never bet on a race unless you are running in it.
  9. Be true to your goals, but realistic about ways to achieve them.
  10. Honor your sponsors.

Online forums that encourage new thinking have evolved with Fast Company and The Intrapreneuring Cafe being among the favorites. Fast Company has the goal of chronicling the changes under way in how companies create and compete, highlighting the new practices shaping how work gets done, showcasing teams who are inventing the future and reinventing business, and equipping the people exploring this uncharted territory with the tools, techniques, models, and mind-sets they need. The Intrapreneuring Cafe, run by intrapreneur.com discusses a variety of specific intrapreneurship issues such as what the best businesses are for intrapreneurship and government agency intrapreneuring. They also run want ads for intrapreneurs.

Another direction intrapreneurship is growing is in developing scenarios to anticipate future trends and responses. Scenarios are stories about possible futures which enable organizations to learn, adapt and develop better strategies. Scenario planning begins by identifying the focal issue or decision. There are an infinite number of stories that could be told about the future; the purpose is to tell those that matter, that lead to better decisions. While scenarios to-date have primarily been used for large scale planning efforts for such projects as education in the United States, it is very applicable to the business environment today.