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Intrapreneuring in Action

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Intrapreneuring in Action

A Handbook for Business Innovation


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To bring an idea to market, intrapreneurs need vision, sponsorships, and ruthless honesty about what works and what does not.

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Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • For Beginners
  • Inspiring


Gifford Pinchot and Ron Pellman describe a hands-on plan of action for the journey between an idea’s creation and its implementation in a company setting. They focus on the support that an intrapreneur, who runs with the idea, must give to that idea, whether he or she originated it or not. This individual is much like an executive producer who shepherds a film through the stages of development necessary for production. These stages include developing an intrapreneurial team to work on the project and seeking support from sponsors throughout the organization. Organizational leaders should act as “climate makers” to create an environment that supports innovation. This well-written, well-organized book combines some basic principles about what makes innovation work with examples of companies that have effectively developed new ideas. It provides guidelines for what to do. The basic principles of innovation may sound familiar to anyone already involved in idea creation and development. However, getAbstract considers this a useful guide or reminder that summarizes the basic principles and will show you how to put them to work in any organization.


The Basic Requirements for Innovation in an Organization

To be innovative in a large organization, you need intrapreneurs or “intracorporate entrepreneurs.” The intrapreneur’s role is to take a new idea and turn it into a “profitable reality.” To innovate, give these intrapreneurs power so they have the ability to run effectively with an idea.

You cannot plan innovation, so you can't create a formal, structured business plan describing exactly what results you expect. Allow for the serendipity and flexibility that make intrapreneuring work. Select a good team to work on the idea and trust them to perform effectively, rather than thinking that it is the idea itself which will become profitable for the company.

Five major roles are necessary to make an innovation successful. If you manage them well, you will generally succeed; if you don't, you will generally undermine efforts to be innovative. These are:

  1. The inventor or idea generator
  2. The intrapreneur
  3. The intrapreneurial team
  4. The sponsor or sponsors of the team and the idea
  5. The “innovation climate maker”


About the Authors

Gifford Pinchot is the author of the best-selling Intrapreneuring and the co-author of The Intelligent Organization. He heads Pinchot & Company, a firm that trains intrapreneurial teams, helps foster a climate for innovation, and develops leaders with the skills needed to lead innovative companies. Ron Pellman heads Pellman EnterpriZes, and was president of Pinchot & Company for eight years. Together Pinchot and Pellman helped launch more than 500 new products, services and businesses.

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