Intrapreneurs …. the bravest of them all.

I have been an intrapreneur for practically my whole career. Even before it was called Intrapreneur. It’s really hard sometimes. You find yourself being that innovative and fearless voice in the corner of a large organization (whether you work for the co, or for the consulting co or agency they’ve brought in to play the role). And when you are that person – alot of people just plain out hate you. Your mere existence gives threat to an established world order.

Most people don’t like change. They fight it tooth and nail. I never understand it. Discovering new things, trying new ways – it’s so exciting! It’s like the world is a giant puzzle but so many people just can’t do it.

I absolutely loved this article. Especially the part about integrity. So much of corporate life can be filled with a lot of smokescreens. Watching that succeed has always been so frustrating for me…because I do really believe that authentic integrity is hard to come by these days. And I’m proud I have it. Thanks David K Williams for highlighting the importance.

The 4 Essential Traits Of ‘Intrapreneurs’
David K. Williams

Intrapreneurs are the heroes of a business environment

There’s been much discussion of late about the entrepreneurs within an organization—those highly valuable executives and team members who will perhaps never become a company founder, but who have learned to apply the essential principles of entrepreneurship to the roles they fill within a company.

We refer to these employees as “intrapreneurs” because they’re not entering into their own, work venture, but they are working within your company, thus the “intra” part.

Our company, Fishbowl is filled with intrapreneurs. They think and behave like owners. Most of them actually are as our organization is employee owned. They are invaluable to the company’s health. But how do organizations recognize and develop intrapreneurs, and, even more importantly, how can you be sure they won’t leave?

As authors Vijay Govindarajan and Jatin Desai have noted in a Harvard Business Review blog post, there are certain characteristics that successful intrapreneurs share. I would like to focus on four of them:

1. Money is not their measurement. Intrapreneurs certainly respect the value and importance of money. They understand the economic drivers that allow the organization to succeed and are able to support this fundamental truth and not fight it. A non-intrapreneur is perpetually looking for non-economic ways to justify their own advancement and payment. An intrapreneur “gets it” and does their work in a way that shows the organization they are someone it can’t afford to lose. The money and advancement finds them.

2. They are “greenhousers.” When you speak about an intriguing idea to an intrapreneur, the idea never leaves them. It germinates within their mind, and they carry with them the desire to figure out how to make it work. When you see them next, they are likely to have grown the seed of an idea into a full-blown plan or they will have created an even better set of alternative plans in its stead.

3. They know how to pivot. Intrapreneurs aren’t afraid to change course, nor do they fear failure. It isn’t outward bravado that drives them but an inner confidence and courage that every step takes them closer to their ultimate goal. In my own training and vernacular I call this phenomenon “failing up.” I celebrate opportunities for growth, even painful ones.

4. They behave authentically and with integrity. Most importantly, intrapreneurs exhibit the traits of confidence and humility—not the maverick behavior of corporate hotshots, Govendarajan and Desai say. I agree fully with this conclusion. Integrity (along with Respect, Belief, and Courage) are key among the traits I call the 7 Non-Negotiables, which have driven my own company to miraculous accomplishments and are at the core of the methodology I describe in my book. A budding businessperson could carry every other characteristic in spades, but without a foundation of integrity, they will fail (and the work landscape is littered with many examples of such failures).

So if these are the traits that describe what an intrapreneur looks like, where will you find these individuals and how can you ensure they will stay?

For starters, a company founded with an entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial emphasis becomes a magnet for more of the same. Employees recommend the company to others who share their values. Like breeds like, which is also to say that a company can’t conduct itself without integrity and still expect to find those traits upheld in its ranks. With time and experience, you will learn to ask the searching questions that will help you determine the true traits of the individuals you consider.

The search will be worth the effort, as tomorrow’s world of work ecosystems will be driven by the increasing ranks of intrapreneurs.

How insightful is the TPM measurement?

The world is talking about Michelle Obama and her 28k tweets per minute during her speech at the DNC2012. I can include myself as a participating tweeter. FLOTUS was phenomenal. John King on CNN made an off the cuff joke about Ms Obama signing up to run for anything…but it’s true. That speech was presidential in and of itself.

But the TPM statistic. I feel like it’s the early days of “hits” to a webpage. What does it mean? It’s a big number and people (the media especially) like big numbers. But truly. What are the uniques? I counted for ten tweets due to engaging conversations with fellow twits.

In terms of her volume compared to Mitt or Ann Romney? Of course it would be more! This is the First Lady whose staff has her on Pinterest posting behind the scenes photos of life at the White House. Her audience is social media saavy. Everyone is consistently talking about the Republican party as “the party of old white men” – I can tell you that if that is true – that particular demographic is NOT going to be tweeting during ANY speech at ANY volume even close to Michelle Obama’s audience.

I think the questions we could be asking are deeper than TPM and I am sure there are so many folks behind the scenes analyzing sentiment, and mentions on topics, using tools like Radian 6, Crimson Hexagon, Social Mention, People Browser. So sad that most of this data is confidential and will be used to draft political strategy.

If only the media cared about more than the TPM. Sigh. That would be news analysis. I did find one slightly obsessed group here. Thanks guys. Keep up the good work!

Click here for Politico’s Coverage of the Tweet Mania

stop, hey, what’s that sound? everybody look what’s goin’ down.

Occupy Wall Street

WHAT the hell is going on?  There is all this news coverage happening on a very sensational level and a very “objective” level..reporting. But what about context? What about history? I was talking with a friend yesterday about how we both just feel like something is about to “pop”.  There is SO much tension.  It reminded me of a feeling I had after watching the Baader Meinhoff Complex. This was the generation that fought against their parents generation of “fascism”….

are we watching the same sort of thing with this generation and their parents (AND some grandparents) having come through the lens of the 60’s and 70’s? In the film this faction attacks capitalism, starts attacking insitutions with bombs. (When the film came to the US there was a whole other layer of controvery. Hitchens commented best here.)  The protests happening here in LA around the rising tuitions just layers on a “Kent State” vibe to the whole thing.

This article in Wired Magazine yesterday also shone a light on the organized aspects of “Secret HQ of OWS”. It also made me feel there are absolutely some kind of parallels to be drawn here. I wasn’t born when alot of it started, but I can tell you that having a parent who was “a hippie”, hung out in the village smoking cigarettes listening to Bob Dylan, a female parent that taught me everything about protest and civil rights and always encouraged participation (marched a picket line at age 11 to protest my school closures – not enough kids thanks to birth control of course)…having that parent has shaped my political participation.

Having that parent ALSO meant that my baby book was filled with historical ephemera. King getting shot, kennedy, the moon landing.

I’m not sure this is being taken as seriously as it should be….I know there is no clear ask as there was with getting out of vietnam. But i have to think that if Geitner and the Justice Dept could pull a J Edgar Hoover and start dragging “criminals” off to jail….banking people seem to be the target. Even just a few…that it would do something to quell a little bit of the tension.  Just a little….but it would be something.

doggone it i love bob herbert’s brain

Palin’s Alternate Universe

Published: October 3, 2008

Sarah Palin is the perfect exclamation point to the Bush years.

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We’ve lived through nearly two terms of an administration that believed it could create its own reality:

“Deficits don’t matter.” “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.” “Those weapons of mass destruction must be somewhere.”

Now comes Ms. Palin, a smiling, bubbly vice-presidential candidate who travels in an alternate language universe. For Ms. Palin, such things as context, syntax and the proximity of answers to questions have no meaning.

In her closing remarks at the vice-presidential debate Thursday night, Ms. Palin referred earnestly, if loosely, to a quote from Ronald Reagan. He had warned that if Americans weren’t vigilant in protecting their freedom, they would find themselves spending their “sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in America when men were free.”

What Ms. Palin didn’t say was that the menace to freedom that Reagan was talking about was Medicare. As the historian Robert Dallek has pointed out, Reagan “saw Medicare as the advance wave of socialism, which would ‘invade every area of freedom in this country.’ ”

Does Ms. Palin agree with that Looney Tunes notion? Or was this just another case of the aw-shucks, darn-right, I’m-just-a-hockey-mom governor of Alaska mouthing something completely devoid of meaning?

Here’s Ms. Palin during the debate: “Say it ain’t so, Joe! There you go pointing backwards again … Now, doggone it, let’s look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education, and I’m glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and God bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right?”

If Governor Palin didn’t like a question, or didn’t know the answer, she responded as though some other question had been asked. She made no bones about this, saying early in the debate: “I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear.”

The problem with Ms. Palin’s candidacy is that John McCain might actually win this election, and then if something terrible happened, the country could be left with little more than an exclamation point as president.

After Ms. Palin had woven one of her particularly impenetrable linguistic webs, Joe Biden turned to the debate’s moderator, Gwen Ifill, and said: “Gwen, I don’t know where to start.”

Of course he didn’t know where to start because Ms. Palin’s words don’t mean anything. She’s all punctuation.

This is such a serious moment in American history that it’s hard to believe that someone with Ms. Palin’s limited skills could possibly be playing a leadership role. On the day before the debate, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, made an urgent appeal for more troops, saying the additional “boots on the ground,” as well as more helicopters and other vital equipment, were “needed as quickly as possible.”

The morning after the debate, the Labor Department announced that the employment situation in the U.S. had deteriorated even more than experts had expected. The nation lost nearly 160,000 jobs in September, more than double the monthly losses in July and August.

Conditions are probably worse than even those numbers indicate because the government’s statistics do not yet reflect the response of employers to the credit crisis that has taken such a hold in the last few weeks.

Where is the evidence that Governor Palin even understands these complex and enormously challenging problems? During the debate she twice referred to General McKiernan as “McClellan.” Neither Ms. Ifill nor Senator Biden corrected her.

But after Senator Biden suggested that John McCain’s answer to the nation’s energy problems was to “drill, drill, drill,” Ms. Palin promptly pointed out, as if scoring a point, that “the chant is ‘Drill, baby, drill!’ ”

How’s that for perspective? The credit markets are frozen. Our top general in Afghanistan is dialing 911. Americans are losing jobs by the scores of thousands. And Sarah Palin is making sure we know that the chant is “drill, baby, drill!” not “drill, drill, drill.”

John McCain has spent most of his adult life speaking of his love for his country. Maybe he sees something in Sarah Palin that most Americans do not. Maybe he is aware of qualities that lead him to believe she’d be as steady as Franklin Roosevelt in guiding the U.S. through a prolonged economic downturn. Maybe she’d be as wise and prudent in a national emergency as John Kennedy was during the Cuban missile crisis.

Maybe Senator McCain has reason to believe that it would not be the most colossal of errors to put Ms. Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency.

He’s got just four weeks to share that insight with the rest of us.

Lost in Patriotism, Convention Land and Facebook

Recently I have been spending ALOT of time online, on the couch with the TV tuned to CNN. ALOT of time. I don’t quite recall every paying this much due to our political process.  And i’ve paid my dues – canvasing, phonebanks, rock the vote events, standing on corners in Boston registering voters, picketing etc….  but this election is sucking me in – i now know that Montana has its first woman congress member attending the convention, that new mexico has largest spanish delegate percentage, have become fond of the phrase “the great state” and all its pomp.

I’m officially entrenched and it’s my own fault.  With every election the web becomes more and more important – and the sophistication that the campaign is using with their web marketing?  Every brand should be paying attention.  These guys are GOOD!   I’m amazed at the McCain campaign’s saavy “get” of youtube search terms, impressed by the emails i get everyday from the Obama campaign (and know that it is former Rock The Vote genius at work!)  And I’m consistently fascinated and impressed with my network at their consistent posts, that they too are multitasking during convention craziness….and yes – it does feel like I’m watching with 100 of my friends….somehow it does.

With this election I have been able to truly test the search engine capabilities of that blog button in google…I find myself deep into the search at sites like – because i need to know everything about the “pistol packing mother of five” (thanks Cindy) as well as the things that people are making up (it’s a good one – go visit it)

I’m disappointed that i can’t get more of the CNN coverage in their LIVE stream – I can’t wait until we get to IPTV and there is no defining difference between the content streaming on the 2 boxes…..although i do not mind the talking heads  on a bigger screen and being able to do 3 things at once.  My 13″ screen isn’t big enough to handle streaming, blogging, facebooking, and IM’ing. And I truly have given up on watching Jon Stewart at 11pm and he is now my morning coffee (do i really need to see it right before bed? as long as i can chat about it by ten am!)

I wish that our local elections could use the web in the same way – I do believe that engaging people online at the local level around politics is something that hasn’t yet been figured out.  Perhaps a new market for a Citysearch? A Yelp?  There must be a way to get people to review their local congressman with the same fervor that they review the pizza place around the corner……..

Jon Stewart could figure it out….Jon Stewart and Hans Riemer.