Thursday, January 17, 2008

need for intrapreneurship

thanks hari for the comment, here's my reply.

whilst the entire organization may feel that there is a need for intrapreneurship, it is only top management that can decide whether to go in for it or not, because as i said in one of earlier blogs, the top management has also to commit resources to introducing intrapreneurial measures as well as seeing those measures through to their logical conclusion.

before espousing intrapreneurship, one crucial decision that management has to take is, from the organization's perspective, what is/are the reason/s for doing so. is it that traditional methods of biz have lost their effectiveness, is it competition which is growing both in number and in sophistication, is it rigors of global competition in one's own backyard, is it new technology which is making the old production process redundant, is it that the world over, giant companies are right-sizing so as to improve productivity and therefore profits and for you to be left behind would be suicidal ?

what is your organization's reason is the first question that needs to be addressed.

the answer is easy if there are some visible manifestations of a down-trend. eg if profits have dipped, if more customers have 'voted with their feet" (an english phrase meaning customers have moved to competition), if the topline has stopped growing and has even taken a dip, if costs have gone up, and every input of capital is yielding less and less return.

many organizations are willing to embrace intrapreneurship as a course-correction tool when they are able to see such visible downturns.

the point about intrapreneurship is that organizations dont have to (and should not) wait for the southward trend to be visible before embarking on intrapreneurhsip. Anne Mulcahy, CEO Xerox said it is very hard to embrace any new intiative when nothing visibly has gone wrong, if it aint' broke why fix it, but that is absolutely the right time to do it, because things havent careened out of control and change management will then cost less both in terms of missed opportunities as well as resources.

hari, to sum up, your vendors have to do an introspection to first identify what ails them and why and if these two questions are answered it should not be very difficult to answer how to redress them.

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