Adapt to Experience Books Logodown


Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business School in her book "When Giants Learn to Dance" (1990) discusses the need for intrapreneurial development as a key factor in ensuring the survival of the company.  Dr. Kanter says that "companies with many employees find it impossible to provide a process which allows most employees to achieve the salary and the work status they desire." Intrapreneur development makes it possible to meet some of the demands employees are making for more autonomy, more responsibility and better reward systems.

The author of "Megatrends", John Naisbitt, cites intrapreneurship as a major way for established companies to find new markets and new products, in his book "Re-Inventing the Corporation"

Adapt to Experience has been interested in this type of development for several years without being able to make much progress. We suggest you read what we say below.  If that sparks personal interest there may be some basis for discussion.


WHY?  There is a lot of talk in both business and government about the success of NZ companies and the inventiveness of people in NZ business.  We believe that the great bulk of new business ideas have no chance of market implementation because the resources that would make success possible are not available.

Most NZ creative talent is treated with skepticism and derision.  Richard Pearse knew well how NZ responds to people who try to break the mould.  The desire of many people to achieve by breaking new ground, and the general failure of others to appreciate pioneering work, are both characteristic of NZ.  Too often the premature call for "seed capital" causes the business to fail as a financial investment.  We are not good innovators in NZ.  Too many of us believe that "reinventing the wheel" is a waste of time and resources.  We all know about scarce resources, it's on the tradition of making do in the face of scarcity that the myth of the creative New Zealander with a piece of No8 wire is built.

WHAT? We argue that in the development of intrapreneurs the real needs are for mentors, for social contact with peers, with practical help and with living support while the project is in the nursery stage of development.  These are needed before seed capital, and are the key to the better use of seed capital.

Our proposal provides for voluntary registration of champions, the creation of sponsor's associations, the training of intrapreneurs and of their sponsor groups, the creation of special partnerships and the development of reports that will form the basis of the business plan for each new project.  These reports and the support of the people who have been involved in the development will make the quest for seed capital a task more likely to succeed.  In many cases all the funding will come from the "inside group" (perhaps entirely from the parent company). In talking to managers they see all proposals being held "in-house". We think that is how the pilot project will run, but we believe that major opportunities exist in developing co-operative and joint venture R&D efforts.

WHO? John Veitch is interested in the establishment and management of the programme.  We have a development strategy and the skills to deliver a pilot programme in Christchurch.

HOW? Eight years ago this scheme was suggested by us.  We wrote to 150 Christchurch companies and found there was no interest. At that time we had three year plan that didn't get beyond the first letter being posted. 

The basis for the proposed programme is listed below:

1.  Self selected CEO's express an interest in the concept..
2.  Private discussion with interested parties.
3.  Working group formed to develop criteria for a successful programme.
4.  Membership of the initial group confirmed.
5.  Confirm objectives, funding, management & staffing.
6.  Executive educational programme begins.
7.  Registration of "champions" begins.
8.  Basic training for all staff.
9.  Seeking mentors and sponsors for champions.
10.  Monthly reporting & monitoring.  (Specific Projects)
11.  Regular re-evaluation of the programme.
12.  Two years on: Development / withdrawal decision.
13.  Programme expansion into more companies?
14.  Programme expansion beyond the initial area?


Personal   Best Ideas
The champion's commitment   Access to the best ideas
The champion's personal effort   Diversity of dialogue
Leadership   Membership and cooperation
Communication skills   Intrinsic values
  Innovative product  
  or new service  
Community   Resources
Personal support for the champion   A place to work
A sponsors group   Materials and equipment
A production team   Capital investment
Lead customers   Marketing effort

A working group will be formed to plan a programme to meet client objectives.  What resources are available?  What results are required?  eg.  All initial projects developed "in-house".

WHEN? A basic proposal has already been formulated. We need now to find clients who are on the leading edge of business development, firms that will both demand a lot and contribute much to the programme.

Our proposal allows for beginning this work with leading edge clients.  The pilot programme will be limited to companies willing to allocate resources to the effort.

WHERE? Because the people promoting this proposal are resident in Christchurch, and because Christchurch is the home of several firms that are potentially supportive, it is proposed that the development of the pilot programme should be in Christchurch.

(2003) This proposal has never aroused any hint of interest.

BackTo Innovation Index Pagetop