Making your large organisation more entrepreneurial

The Boardroom EntrepreneurAfter The Beermat Entrepreneur, the next book that Chris West and I wrote was The Boardroom Entrepreneur, taking the Beermat model into large organisations, a process often called ‘Intrapreneurship’

To develop the material, we worked closely with Sir John Rose, who was then CEO of Rolls-Royce (the aircraft engines not the cars division!). He very kindly gave us the lead quote on the front of the books.

We then prototyped the material with my dear friend Jeanette Kehoe-Perkinson, who was then HR Director of Novartis.

Then, afterwards ran workshops in almost every sector of industry, including government and local authorities.

What we discovered was there was no resistance at the highest level to intrapreneurship; they were keen to instil a culture of enterprise and be more creative, for all the right reasons.

Nor was there any resistance from the ‘troops’ or those ‘on the coal face’. They were invariably brimming with great new ideas to improve the business and the quality of their lives.

The problem was always with the people in-between, sometimes referred to a ‘the middle management’, who seemed determined to stifle any type of innovation.

We had anticipated this problem in the book, by defining the ‘Dragons’ who might stand in the path of intrapreneurship:

  • Clever nay-sayers:  “that will never work!”
  • Green-eyed monsters: “youre not allowed to have more fun than me!”
  • Former nay-sayers: “we tried that before, it didn’t work!”
  • Carthorses: “please leave me alone, I’m too busy!”
  • Short-termists: “We have to show a tangible return on this within three months”
  • Rescuers: “Let us take over from here!”
  • The brand police: “That’s not what we should be doing here”
  • Over-eager suits: “let’s hire some expensive consultants to set up a suitably complex process framework!”

Over the last ten years, I have carefully developed the techniques required to bypass the ‘Dragons’, where necessary, if only for a limited period of time.

If you are a large organisation looking to be more ‘intrapreneurial, I would be pleased to share these techniques with you. Typically the first stage is an hour-long keynote presentation for your key decision-makers.

Then, I can help you generate new ideas and nurture enterprise in your large organisation.

I’m particularly keen to work with local authorities and housing associations, who I define as being ‘social enterprises’: proper businesses, but with a distinct social purpose.

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