David Stubbs, head of sustainability for the London 2012 Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, had a passion : sustainability. Thanks to this inner energy, he, behaving as an intrapreneur, had the opportunity to implement a vision for the London Olympics project, from the ground up.
“Intrapreneurs are working to turn around vast supertankers in the form of incumbent companies with established (if dysfunctional) business models and interests deeply vested in the old order”, underlines this article in Fast Coexist.
Intrapreneurs to achieve social and sustainablity goals
The concept of “intrapreneur,” has been around for almost 35 years.
The term “social intrapreneur” is much more recent. It has been mentioned, among others, in the recently published Social Intrapreneur report.
Just as for economical value creation, the intrapreneurship model can be cultivated to help an organization with the achievement of social and altruistic goals.
Produced in partnership with The Skoll Foundation, Allianz and IDEO, the Social Intrapreneurship report presents a field guide to the world of social intrapreneurship – its challenges and opportunities – and draws on research undertaken in twenty leading global corporations, according to the website.
The report, a.o., shares the story of Paul Ellingstad of HP’s Sustainability and Social Innovation team. As a intrapreneur himself, he explains the tangible, action-oriented ways in which the company’s technology is being used to enable health care programs in developing countries in partnership with social enterprises.
Social intrapreneurs are partnering with outside players and listen to their instinct
“Intrapreneurs have moved beyond the notion that external stakeholders are to be herded in periodically and squeezed for whatever they can contribute by way of insight. Instead, they view external organizations–and particularly social enterprises–as potential market enablers and strategic partners, says FastCoexist’s article. At their best, they tirelessly weave together inside-out and outside-in dynamics to create truly out-of-the-box solutions”.
Moreover, most of social intrapreneurs aren’t following any well-scripted playbook, say the authors of the report. Indeed, it is striking how often, alongside words like “collaboration,” they mention things like “serendipity,” “alchemy,” and “magic.” “You can’t project manage a cultural revolution,” one intrapreneur told us.
“Innovation and entrepreneurial approaches can help us get on top of key challenges, including coping with the oncoming silver tsunami of elderly people, for instance”.