To me Intrapreneurs are the big-time forgotten in the business world, I put my two cents to give them the notoriety they deserve. I will start with an everyday story that many of you usually live:
You are everywhere, you are people that work hard, giving everything they have, you take a flight at 5:40 (which means waking up at 3:00) to go to London and come back the same day because you have a meeting the next day at 9:30 in Barcelona, but if you are from Madrid you will have to take the AVE at 6:30.
If I am speaking about you, you just remembered that you have not finished the presentation for Barcelona, you will have to make the final touches in the AVE Railway instead of sleeping.
You know that you will have to work during the weekend, if you don’t put hours into it you will not get to the kick-off meeting with everything prepared. You will get to the office at 7:30 for everything to be ready, you will clean the meeting room so it will be impeccable for the client, you will check that the projector is working and make sure there is water… come on let’s not miss any detail.
You work hard, many hours, your partner complains that you spend your life working (if you still have one), but it does not matter, you are doing the project that you are passionate about.
You are not an actionist, you are not co-founder, you do not have phantom shares, you are not even paid benefits. But you are still motivated to get ahead a project that motivates you the best inside your company, you are an INTRAPRENEUR.
According to Fernando Vigorena, an intrapreneur is an executive that does not want to get out of the company to start a new business. Oriented to the action, they transform, through their global vision and their enterprising spirit, a product and/or a service in a new business area inside their current organization. In other words, the intrapreneur is the manager of a new business that administers all the areas and activities necessary to make this entrepreneurship internally. That man that decides to transform an initial business concept in commercial reality to the company he works for, is the intrapreneur or modern executive.
The definition is ok, but I think it goes beyond, in many places we have people that acts like authentic motors for things to happen “MAKING THE DIFFERENCE”. And despise the story at the beginning sounds like “Rambo” movie and the only thing that is missing is the “I can’t feel my legs” fortunately many professionals like this exist.
They are professionals that take chances inside the companies, chances of launching new products, of opening new offices in remote places, of reorganizing divisions that do not work, of innovating and launching new companies inside our company “the so called spin-offs”.
Rumor has it they pursue a raise, a new position, it can be true but so what? They are envied and criticized because they want to thrive on top of mediocre and grey people, in school they probably were not the ones that went with the flow and they were criticized for that too, they were for sure called a wonk and look at them now succeeding in life on top or the normal people.
Wanting a raise is not bad, wanting a better position is not bad, fighting for it with all your might and giving the best of you is GOOD.
I have seen intrapreneurs in many places, in the public administration, believe it or not there are many. People that work with quality, that move things and do not drop the pencil at 15:00.
They are judges that solve three times more records than the judge next door, directors that make their school have quality standards on top of the average innovating, teachers that like, on top of everything, teaching and they look for new ways of motivating their students, department directors that move things by launching new services and manage to make the citizens have better attention.
They are multinational directives of every level, that go to the other end of the world to open a new office of the company, that work with university scientists to create a new product, or that their biggest worry is how to create value with new businesses or transforming the old ones.
They are everywhere, and we have forgotten about them, you, that are reading this, are probably one of them. Moreover, the mediocre and grey call you “workaholic”, addicted to work and worse things like “social climber”.
If you are an intrapreneur you are not alone, there are many like you and many that are in relevant positions in companies around the world were like you, the General Directors, Presidents and top directives of many companies were intrapreneurs in their days. If you talk with them you will see how you tell each other similar stories as the one at the beginning of the post.
Keep fighting, at least it was worth it for me, and it still is worth it, working hard has its benefits… and working hard and in an intelligent way even better…
This world is for the INTRAPRENEURS too.