- Most managers eyes look down hoping this latest idea dies before making them change or take chances.
- The owners eyes look up and out the window reminiscing about the "good old days" when he or she ran a much smaller and focused company. Back then, everyone was an Intrapreneur with "fire in their bellies".
- One or maybe two sets of younger, brighter eyes sparkle, expressing hope that their time has come to break suffocating company rules and politics stifling opportunities they see but cannot pursue. Optimistically, but sometimes fatally, these people seize the moment and volunteer as "champions" of this new company initiative.
Despite their righteousness, why dont 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 complacence, when a staid company tries to perform like a growth business, the picture is not very pretty.
When You Are The Intrapreneur, What Should You Do? Should You Take The Challenge?
If you, the Intrapreneur, are offered such a firm-changing opportunity, consider this. You may have the chance 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?
- Your corporate and salaried people do not feel empowered to make needed changes but you do.
- Your hourly people do not connect the quality or quantity of their work to the success of your company or an increase in their pay but you do.
- No one in your company, including your sales force, has really had to sell an idea, product, or service to make a mortgage payment but you have.
- You see your organization going along to get along but you cant.
- Your owners are motivated more by protecting their wealth than they are by creating new value.
- Your owners are threatened, weak and dont really want to change.
- Insiders protecting the status quo control your organization.
- The pain of your organization changing is greater than the pain of your organization not changing.
Lets 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.
Every effective worker has Intrapreneurial traits that may or may not culminate in an Entrepeneurial life. Ask yourself how close are you to becoming an Entrepeneur? Your answer will help you to decide whether you should stay or you should go!
Andrew J. Birol of Birol Growth Consulting helps owners grow their businesses by growing their best and highest use. Contact Andy at 440-349-1970 or AndyBirol.com.