Intrapreneurship is based on the idea of using entrepreneurial techniques within a corporation or organization to create a new product(s), service(s), or division to help a corporation grow, become more profitable, and in some cases, survive.

The word, in-tra-pre-neur (In¹tre-pre-nur) did not exist in the dictionary until the mid 1970s. The dictionary defines an intrapreneur as "an employee of a large corporation who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services, systems, etc, and [who] does not have to follow the corporation's usual routine or protocols" (Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, p.1001).

Anyone who has worked in a large corporation knows that in most cases there is a rigid set of corporate rules, corporate standard operating procedures, and corporate policies that exist for almost everything and anything. Yet, some enlightened corporations do allow an employee-intrapreneur limited freedom to pursue new ideas. Intrapreneurship has successfully been utilized by corporations, partnerships and non-profit firms in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.

A successful Intrapreneurship program must overcome the potential roadblocks of formal structure and of a possibly slow moving corporate bureaucracy. A corporation must be willing to be open to new and innovative ideas. Tom Nies, CEO of Cincom has noted that "A key element of intrapreneurship is the ability of a company to support expedited decision-making processes." Nies continued "Intrapreneurs above all else thrive on the freedom."

Norman Macrae (in The Economist, 1976) predicted a number of trends in business - one of them being "that dynamic corporations of the future should simultaneously be trying alternative ways of doing things in competition within themselves". An intrapreneur must be able to successfully convince both middle and senior management that their new, "out of the box" idea has merit, market, and would be both profitable and synergistic to the corporate mission.
Author John Naisbett (1986) cited intrapreneurship concepts as a way for established businesses to find new markets and new products in his book, “Re-Inventing the Corporation.” The concept was established deeply enough that in 1990 Rosabeth Moss Kanter, of Harvard Business School, in her book, “When Giants Learn to Dance” discussed intrapreneurial development as a key factor in ensuring the survival of a company.

An intrapreneur is really an entrepreneur who has less risk in a venture. He also has much less control of when, or whether, a product will be launched. Being an intrapreneur takes a unique set of skills beyond creativity, including being willing to take some risks at sharing an unique idea with senior management and then having the perseverance to wait for management's approval to proceed. After initial approval, an intrapreneur must have the drive to see the product or service through the creation and launching phases, no matter what.

Apple's Chairman, Stephen Jobs popularized the term "intrapreneurship" in his article in the September 30, 1985 issue of Newsweek, in which he said, "The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as intrapreneurship - a group of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company."

In 1977, Howard E. Haller, together with co-founder Paul Renner, embarked on a new intrapreneurial venture within PR1ME Computer and created and built PR1ME Leasing Division. This new division allowed PR1ME Computer company to more easily finance the sales of PR1ME’s "super mini computers." The new captive leasing division helped PR1ME grow from a small OTC listed company to be the Number 1 performing company listed on the NYSE in just five years!

Dr. Howard E. Haller presents his inside view of PR1ME's intrapreneurial venture in his book "Intrapreneurship Success: A PR1ME Example." In his book Haller documents the innovative creation and inside “street smarts” of the intrapreneurial success of PR1ME Leasing operation and its operational and financial details from 1977 to 1980 using both qualitative and quantitative analysis. This is a real world four year case study of a firm that successfully used Intrapreneurship to create a new Leasing Division, within their rapidly growing public corporation.

The PR1ME Leasing intrapreneurship venture was just one of several successful Intrapreneurship ventures that Dr. Haller would personally create and successfully build over the next two decades (including Anaconda-Ericsson Leasing & Finance, and Corona Data Systems OEM Private Label PC Division).

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Howard E. Haller, Leading Expert & Thought Leader
on Intrapreneurship & Intrapreneurship Keynote Speaker
Chief Enlightenment Officer
Intrapreneurship Institute

Dr. Howard E. Haller is Founder/CEO of the Intrapreneurship Institute. As a member of NSA, he regular speaks to Corporations, Associations, and Non-Profit Organizations on how to effectively use the innovation and creativity of Intrapreneurship (Corporate Entrepreneurship) within their Organizations. Intrapreneurship has successfully been utilized by corporations, partnerships and non-profit firms in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The Intrapreneurship Institute can help evaluate, design, and implement an Intrapreneurship Program within a company to effectively utilize the intellect and creativity of human capital of an organization to help maximize productivity and profits. The Intrapreneurship Institute can provide Keynote Speeches, Executive Briefings, and Workshops on Intrapreneurship plus the benefits and program features of an intrapreneurial program.

Howard E. Haller, Ph.D., is the Leading Expert and Thought Leader on Intrapreneurship, Intrapreneurship Program Design and Creation, Intrapreneurship Program Implementation & Operation, Using Intrapreneurship programs as a strategic tool for Recruiting and Retaining Key Employees, Increasing Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Haller is seasoned senior corporate executive, and published author of two books: "INTRAPRENEURSHIP SUCCESS: A PR1ME EXAMPLE" published by VDM Verlag Dr. Müller AG & CoKG ISBN 978-3-639-17509-7, and is available on Amazon in the US, Canada, UK and Germany. “Intrapreneurship Success” tells the inside full story of how a small OTC listed company grew to be the #1 performing stock on the NYSE in only five years. Dr. Haller is also the author of “Leadership and Adversity: The Shaping of Prominent Leaders.”

Contact Dr. Haller for inspirational Keynote Speeches, Motivational Speeches, Seminars on Intrapreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership, and Servant-Leadership.

Dr. Howard E. Haller- Leading Expert on Intrapreneurship, Keynote Intrapreneurship Speaker/Trainer, Book Author "Intrapreneurship Success: A PR1ME Example" University Professor & Trustee, and seasoned Sr. Corporate Executive