Classic Insight Article

Are you hardwired to be an Intrapreneur?  That was a question that came up in a discussion at a luncheon of experienced women corporate entrepreneurs.

All of these women had successful careers but they did it their way, on their terms.  They didn’t let organizational barriers or obstacles get in their way.  They looked at everything with a fresh perspective, always asking if there was a better way.

They were willing to question and challenge authority and the status quo.  Just because the organization did something the same way for twenty years didn’t make it the best way, the most efficient way to do it.  They would see an opportunity and go for it.  They would identify a problem and find a solution.  If they saw a need they created a service to address it.  They took the initiative to do what was right.

When they were asked to explain why they did these things, a few of them said they were hardwired that way. “Hardwired asked one of the participants. What does that mean?” It means that you are conditioned to act in a certain way.  You react to situations by keeping an open mind.

You look at everything as an opportunity to do something better, faster or more effectively.  You are willing to experiment, test your ideas.  You take a stand and stick out your neck for what you believe.  Right or wrong you learn from the experience.

Your peers sit back and watch what you are doing. They may even ask you if you are crazy. Yes it seems that being labeled crazy has become a rite of passage for Intrapreneurs.

One participant said that her organization thought that what she was doing was crazy.  The rest of the group nodded and acknowledged the comment.  They too had similar experiences. The group assured her that having that label was a good thing.  What it meant was that she was different and making a difference in her organization.

All our lives we are programmed to fit in to a world that is stable and predictable but the world is anything but that today.  Growing up we are educated and guided to fit into a certain mold. Our institutions provide structure, processes and practices to abide by that may have worked in the past but will not in the future. Most individuals are ill prepared to deal with the new environment. Many will need to be reprogrammed to fit into the future.

Intrapreneurs on the other hand are hardwired for this new world.  The way they think and act are signs that they are hardwired differently.  Something in their past, some experience enables them to look at the world through a different lens.  They see possibilities.

In the meantime if someone calls you crazy at work.  You may just be an Intrapreneur.


Classic Insights – This article Hardwired to Be an Intrapreneur was originally published August 2012


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