When I worked at FAST, which was a rapidly growing enterprise software company, the company had a truly fast-paced entrepreneurial environment. I remember getting told there was really only one thing that could get me fired, and that was walking past a window that seemed partially open, and not look into what was on the other side.
The idea was that if you don´t look outside the window, you (and your company) might miss out on an opportunity. Looking into something outside of your immediate perimeters (i.e. your company´s business model, your job responsibility areas, etc), may be the reason you discover something that potentially could disrupt your business model, prove to be a new revenue stream, etc.
This mentality can be hard to translate into a corporate setting. Some might think you are stepping on their turf, and get defensive of their area of responsibilities. It´s a fine line, going from protecting one´s job to become a hinder for change and growth. By taking on a defensive role, you are probably doing yourself a disservice.
For larger organizations looking to build intrapreneurs, it is important that the management encourages a behaviour that nurtures curiosity and “action-takers” and that they actively work to build the culture to support it. Here is a good article from ZDNet that provides 10 tips on turning employees into intrapreneurs.
I tweeted this image not too long ago, and I think it describes how entrepreneurs solve problems in a really good way.
So, to sum it up – entrepreneurs do the following to get shit done:
- STAY CURIOUS
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
- TAKE ACTION
To all you entrepreneurs out there, Nike says it good – Just do it!