“Institutional enterprises must either innovate internally through the practice of intrapreneurship, or acquire entrepreneurial enterprises in order to survive”.
The pace of innovation is so fast that some iniatives need to be given their chance.Institutional companies need to integrate and support those agents of change, namely the intrapreneurs, in order to remain competitive, observes Brooks.
“An intrapreneur is an agent of change within an enterprise who takes risk to transform an innovative idea into value. Intrapreneurs are found in institutional enterprises and are the equivalent of entrepreneurs in entrepreneurial enterprises”.
Thanks to the intrapreneurs, a classic company can shift from its institutional, static, exposed model toward a more agile and creative corporate genome.
“For example, Microsoft is an institutionalized provider of office application and operating system software, but began as an entrepreneurial enterprise offering a BASIC programming language interpreter”.
“Whereas new product and/or service ideas, and new market entry and infrastructure initiatives often originate in strategic planning exercises, new ideas come frequently from the “front-line.” The front-line is the listening post to the marketplace, especially to customers, suppliers and employees at competitors. However, sometimes these ideas conflict with the views of the vested interests – often the middle-management layer. As a consequence, some intrapreneurs have to initiate change from the “grassroots” instead of in the “blue skies (…) Just like entrepreneurs, many intrapreneurs move on before their ideas are fully implemented (if at all) because they don’t have the patience for the long time frames required to enact change in institutional enterprises”.
“Nervetheless, intrapreneurs have to find internal sponsors for their ideas and initiatives who have political clout just like entrepreneurs have to find investors. In fact, even initiatives that were previously approved by top management can lose momentum over time, and be subject to cancellation…”
Anyway, intrapreneurs are true agents of change.
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