The name of my blog is The Strengths Focused Intrapreneur, and yet, for the past four semesters, the classes in my program at WCU have focused on entrepreneurial pursuits. Don’t get me wrong, the info is helpful, especially for managing the business side of my husband’s writing career. But what I do in my “day job” is live the life of an intrapreneur. I have lots of autonomy in what I do to manage the departments and functions that report to me, and I basically have little micro-businesses within a larger corporate structure.
So, imagine my delight when in our assigned text for the semester I found a whole chapter in Rogers’ Entrepreneurial Finance on Intrapreneurship!
Joseph Alois Schumpeter, himself, asserted that entrepreneurship did not have to be confined to start-ups. He said, “Innovation within the shell of existing corporations offers much more convenient access to the entrepreneurial functions than existed in the world of owner managed firms. Many a would- be entrepreneur of today does not found a firm, not because he could not do so, but simply because he prefers the other method.” (Rogers 269).
I feel the essence of Schumpeter’s conclusion every day. I am an intrapreneur, and I make the conscious choice to hustle within the corporate structure because I grew up in a family business. I want to know that my paycheck will be on-time, that the collections department is doing their job, that billing statement need not be stuffed around the kitchen table at the beginning of every month, and that my 403b/401k has a handsome match provided by my employer. I loved our life growing up, and also, being the family-owned business is HARD. That’s not to say my life as part of a larger company is easy, but it’s certainly not an 80+ hour a week job, either.
Rogers asserts there are two types of Intrapreneur. He even offers a nifty model (Rogers 270):
Caretaker– the anti-intrapreneur; happy with the status quo. Not interested in anything outside moderate growth or development of a product.
Developer– looks at the status quo and finds growth opportunity in existing business lines; might find new markets or customers to facilitate growth.
Innovator– creates new products, services or business models outside of regular R&D.
Some days I wonder what it would be like to start my own company or leave my large company to head-up human resources for a growing entrepreneurial endeavor. And then I read articles like these that remind me why I harness the power of my entrepreneurial spirit for intrapreneurial good.
Here are a few articles that might help ground or propel the budding entrepreneur:
- Intrapreneurs Are Just Like Entrepreneurs…NOT!
- What’s the Smarter Move, Start My Business or Stay in School?
- 7 Signs That You Are Not Cut Out to Be an Entrepreneur
- 7 Signs That You’re Not Ready to Start a Business
- 14 Signs You are Ready to Start Your Own Business
I hope you find these articles helpful for choosing your own path as an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or neither. As for me, my day job will mostly fulfill me in my intrapreneurial pursuits, and I’ll continue being an entrepreneur at home in helping manage my husband’s business and in the multiple side hustles I find myself involved in.
Rogers, S. (2014). Entrepreneurial Finance: Third Edition, Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur. 269-278.
2 thoughts on “FINALLY! Someone Talks About Intrapreneurship”
Hi Nancy! When we met in person, I was surprised to learn that you intended to stay at your current position after completing the ME program. After reading this blog, I can better appreciate your role in your organization and the value that this education adds to your career there. Working within a system has great advantages. I have considered working for a business instead of taking the leap into entrepreneurship, so this post is very encouraging to me.
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The way you started out your article was great and lead me right down through your article. Excellent writing. I thought what Joy said was interesting and it definitely helped for me to get to know what your thoughts were for writing this post. What you said about wondering what it would be like to start up your own company and how you look back at your articles and it makes you think differently. Great insight and I really appreciate being able to read a well thought out post like this.
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