Innovation Leadership And Intrapreneurship | Part 2


One of the biggest barriers to an intrapreneurs success is the current power grid. The current power grid are the partners that succeeded to create the specific formula that supports their position of strength within the structure. They will likely resist any efforts that might disrupt the success of the current operating model.

What is the implication of this dynamic? As an intrapreneur with new ideas, when challenging the status quo, your longevity in the organisation will be influenced by the ability you have to win friends and influence potential enemies. Should you fail at this, no matter how good your concept, your career is likely to have an expiry date as you will be considered a threat.

What follows is a potential approach to influence innovation actors: How might you define a strategy to make space in the system to seed the concept, without threatening to disrupt the current structure?

  • First determine a strategic plan of action. Allies can be recruited by involving them in a challenge that matters, that frustrates them too. Make sure the area you want to improve has potential to shift people to a preferred situation.

  • Second, chose allies carefully. Those who have capacity, who you can trust, who want to make a difference and who have resources or skills that compliment your skillset. Remember there is strength in diversity. You will know who to involve by the energy they bring to the table.

  • Third, use stealth to bring about change. Go under the radar to grow your network and bring about positive change. Create a movement of changemakers who subtly go about their business without drawing too much attention. Don’t ask for permission, rather ask for forgiveness.

  • Lastly, when the time is right, win hearts and minds by involving sceptics or fringe players in future success. Those that can benefit by the change will be keen to get involved. For instance those that are desperate for change will also be very happy to be contribute.


Innovation leadership implication: Innovation success requires carefully considered collaboration with the right partner; Make your success their success.

Point of order: Remember small failures are ok if they don’t impact or detract from the current status quo. Learn what works with subtle tests and then build momentum. Your track record should be inspirational. So only accelerate when you know what has potential to bring about positive change.

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