Thursday, January 3, 2008

is intrapreneurship same as TQM, continous improvement, etc

thanks hari for 'commenting' on this, TQM or any other quality initiative is not equal to intrapreneurship, but one of the ways of bringing in intrapreneurship into the organization. let me explain. let's say an organization located in Brazil is manufacturing match sticks and wants to export to Japan because it is keen on having japan in its market roster. let's say this initiative is a non-starter as it cannot compete with local matchstick makers in japan in terms of cost. so the Brazilian company decides to manufacture, what else, but chopsticks! and it puts in place best in class practices, as a result of which it is able to compete very effectively with local chop-stick makers who up until now had the japanese market on a platter and hence had stopped innovating.

you get my drift? the Brazilian company heralded intrapreneurial initiative into its organization by using quality tools to check-mate competition in a new market. as a result of this intrapreneurial effort, the company now has a new market, a new product and a new, cost-competitive organization.

it is not necessary that intrapreneurial initiatives should be always macro, in the sense, in every aspect of the organization. it could be in product/service, it could be a new way of looking at an existing market, or developing an altogether new market, it could be in an employee loyalty programme, it could even be a simple administrative process. a company doing away with the idea of a telephone operator answering the phone and introducing IVR to facilitate communication with customers, employees and biz partners is as much an intrapreneur as let's say a company that re-orients its customer or employee focus, or introduces an altogether new and disruptive technology.

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