Here Come the Intrapreneurs

Big corporations are trying to capture some of the magic of small companies

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Other management experts maintain that it is not easy for corporate executives to adopt a policy of letting free spirits go off on their own, spending company money with little centralized control. Says Terry Winters, a venture capitalist in Englewood, Colo.: "Even the best of organizations cannot keep its management's finger out of the pie." The new style involves a radical departure from corporate policies based on control from the top, layers of reporting and analysis, and an intolerance of failure. As a result, & intrapreneurship seems to work best in companies like 3M that have a long tradition of encouraging employees to be independent and innovative by working in small groups. Says Wilbert Gore: "I don't know how one can take an authoritarian style of management and make it intrapreneurial."

In his book, Pinchot gives "The Intrapreneur's Ten Commandments." The first two: come to work each day willing to be fired; circumvent any orders aimed at stopping your dream. Such attitudes are not welcome in all companies. But Pinchot argues that large corporations can prosper in today's rapidly changing business environment only if they are willing to encourage employees with fresh ideas to come forward and bet their careers on new projects.

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