Entrepreneurship is as invaluable to large organizations as it is to small ones, perhaps more so. While big companies often can provide the resources start-up businesses lack, they also typically provide all sorts of bureaucracy, slow decision-making and red tape that can stifle entrepreneurial spirits. This can apply to for profits or nonprofits, or for that matter, some departments of government agencies, such as driver’s ed programs, or gift shops at national parks.
The flip side of that is an entrepreneurial person or a group (sometimes called a “skunk works” team) that uses innovative and risk-taking strategies to convert an idea into a profitable finished product in a large organization. Those people are sometimes described as “intrapreneurs” as in entrepreneurs “inside” a big company. They pursue the goals of the organization, working hard to break through the innovation gridlock that prevents many large companies from taking best advantage of their resources.
Certainly the most well-known person who took that approach was Steve Jobs, yet many employees with much less authority have used these strategies successfully. In other words, you don’t need to be the boss or senior manager to be an intrepreneur: you just need to be innovative and smart (so you don’t get fired!) to get the job done.
And you often need a business plan, whether it be formal or informal, long or short. As always, a business plan lays out how you’re going to get from where you are now to where you want to be, based on solid research and analysis of things like markets, competitors, pricing, marketing, and credible financial projections, along with an innovation strategy — how to work inside (and sometimes outside) the organizational culture to reach the desired result.
Here’s a structure for an intrapeurial business plan, from Gifford Pinchot, a leader in this area. This structure pretty similar to any other business plan. Good business planning is good business planning, regardless of the sector or size of organization.
What do you think?
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