One of the best forms of flattery is when someone inadvertently acknowledges something that was right in front of them all along but they couldn’t see it then. Now they can.
This is a problem that most Intrapreneurs and Corporate Entrepreneurs learn to live with. What they see others can’t envision. What they describe is difficult for others to fathom? What they do and why they do it is hard to comprehend.
They find it difficult to close the gap between their vision and what everyone else sees and believes. The more they try to explain something the more frustrated they become. It is hard explaining something that you can see but others don’t.
As John Sculley, former CEO of Apple once said, “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”
Often it takes time to close the gap and get others to adopt what you know to be true. You probably won’t have the data you need to prove your point. You may have an idea that upsets the status quo, increases risk, shifts the balance of power, or threatens others in the organization. All of these can be a show stoppers.
Instead you need to be guided by your own inner compass. You must take action and learn from that action. Not everything you do will be right but it will lead to a better path down the road. You need to move on. You must believe that eventually others will follow and see what you see.
Several years ago I wrote a book titled Entrepreneurs Inside that described what it takes to be an entrepreneur inside of an existing organization. The book was inspired by a group of senior executives who were entrepreneurs inside their organizations building million and billion dollar businesses. They inspired me with their stories and they encouraged me to write a book, they said they wanted their organizations to know what it was like being an entrepreneur inside of an established organization.
The book appealed to the true internal entrepreneur. They could relate to it, they could see themselves in it, they understood the challenges, and they had experienced the same frustrations. Many of them saw themselves more clearly for the first time. They resonated with the idea that they were not alone, that there were others out there. Traditional managers and leaders didn’t get it. They couldn’t see it.
Now that organizations have come to acknowledge the power of entrepreneurs inside their organization the more recognition and attention internal entrepreneurs are getting. So I was elated to hear that Babson College and The Business Innovation Factory are now putting their focus on internal entrepreneurs, even calling their new program in the Entrepreneur Experience Lab – Entrepreneurs Inside. Flattery can be a double edged sword but closing the gap provides the biggest rewards.
Since writing Entrepreneurs Inside I’ve written a new book Acceleration: Changing the Speed of Growth for individuals who want to find out if they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur inside an established organization. It is another step in closing the gap.
Find out if you have what it takes!
Classic Insights – This article Entrepreneurs Inside – Closing the Gap was originally published in Sept 2012.