One of the most frequent questions we get from Intrapreneurs is ‘when will we know when it is time to move on’. It is a question that all Intrapreneurs ask themselves at some point.
We used to tell Intrapreneurs that they will know when it is time – when they have learned all they can from their organization, pushed beyond the boundaries of what they thought was possible or have done everything they could to move their organization forward into the future.
As an intrapreneur, I find myself at that place now. My whole career has been about being an Intrapreneur and helping others see, experience, and understand what it takes and what it means to be an intrapreneur.
Over the last two decades I have seen how Intrapreneurship and Corporate Entrepreneurship have evolved into a strong movement. One that is driven by the motivations and aspirations of thousands of individuals. Challenging themselves and their organizations to adopt a new way of working that is more meaningful and rewarding. A movement that strives to be socially responsible and financially viable at the same time.
It is a lot easier to be an intrapreneur today. There is growing support for Intrapreneurship around the world. Organizations are actively promoting Intrapreneurship to transform their business, create value and generate new revenue growth. Changing their business models to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment. Recognizing the value of talent to the overall success of the organization. Realizing that change is inevitable – either change or be changed.
Intrapreneurs in turn are stepping up to the challenge of identifying and addressing real, unmet needs in the market. They are leveraging technology in new and different ways. Building networks across organizational boundaries. Strengthening their relationships with customers. Forging new alliances. Proactively seeking job opportunities where they can learn and grow. Asserting their independence and speaking openly about their demands. Opting for self-employment over a dead-end job.
Early in my journey, while searching Google for the word Intrapreneurship and Corporate Entrepreneurship there was only a page and a half about these concepts. Now there is an unlimited amount of information available on the topic. But even today, there is no common definition, no consensus in the academic or business world about what it means and what it takes to implement corporate entrepreneurship or Intrapreneurship. We have made tremendous progress but still have a way to go.
My initial interest has always been on understanding the people side of the equation. It doesn’t matter what you call them – Corporate Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, Mavericks, Change Agents, or Positive Deviants they are the ones driving this movement. It has been my mission to understand, who they are, what they do, how they are different and why it is important?
Now I do and so do you thanks to thousands of intrapreneurs around the world that we have worked with and who have participated in our research. They have inspired us with their stories and helped us explore the nuances that distinguish intrapreneurs from others. We are grateful for their contribution to this effort.
It is with this backdrop that I bid farewell as I step into my next journey – Retirement. It has been a labor of love, but it is now time to turn over the next phase of the Intrapreneurial journey to those who are actively involved in it today. The future is in your hands.
The more I have come to understand Intrapreneurs the more I’ve realized that they are in alignment with who they are, not what the organization wants them to be. So…. step up, speak out and strive to be all that you can.
We will continue to post updated articles on our website for a while and offer some of our products through our associates. You can also find our most popular blog articles in the updated version of the book Intrapreneurs: Who, What, How and Why at Amazon.
Good luck in your own personal and professional journey.