Back home from my business trip (two hours later than I planned, I had worse..).
Today. catching up on some Blogs, I came across an interesting posting by Mark Palmer which discusses intraprenuring, which is the name of entrepreneurial behavior within a big company. I have spent most of my working life in three big organizations: The Israeli Air-Force, which has a mentality of the public sector, the Technion, which is an academic institute, and IBM, most time in IBM Haifa Research Lab. Counter to any intuitive: the air-force is organization most open to new ideas, and the academic institute is the least open, IBM is somewhere in the middle.
I have never became an entrepreneur, and when I considered it - 12 years ago, I decided to go to IBM and try intraprenuring instead. This may or may not have been the biggest mistake in my life, I don't know what would have happened if I would have chosen the alternative to go as a startup. John Bates started Apama around the same time, also coming from a university, and some times I envy him (some times I don't..).
Anyway - I have an experience of trying to act like intrapreneur in the three different organizations I mention, I also read Pinchot's book, mentioned in Mark's posting, many years ago. I find Pinchot's ten commandments, mentioned by Mark to be very valid. I am copying them again here:
- Come to work each day willing to be fired.
- Circumvent any orders aimed at stopping your mission.
- Do any job needed to make your project work, regardless of your job description.
- Find people to help you.
- Follow your intuition about the people you choose, and work only with the best.
- Work underground as long as you can – publicity triggers the corporate immune mechanism.
- Never bet on a race unless you are running in it.
- Remember it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
- Be true to your goal, but be realistic about the ways to achieve them.
- Honor your sponsors