Exceptional Magazine : 2011 Exceptional Magazine
What has your company invented lately? What has your company invented lately? 39 Or take the Sony PlayStation®, launched in 1994. Originally a sideline project for Sony Sound Engineer Ken Kutaragi --- one that nearly got him fred — the gaming system eventually received the blessing of then-CEO Norio Ohga and became the best-selling game console of all time. Kutaragi later founded Sony Computer Entertainment, one of the company's most proftable divisions. What these and other revolutionary ideas had in common was that their creators benefted from a corporate setting that fostered creativity by allowing them to pursue their own projects. They were classic "intrapreneurs," a term coined by Gifford and Elizabeth Pinchot to refer to what they called "free market entrepreneurship within the corporate organization".1 Also referred to as "corporate entrepreneurship", intrapreneurship involves individuals or groups of individuals exploring high-risk, high-reward ideas within the safety and support of a larger, well-established corporate structure. There are two factors without which this activity can't get off the ground: 1. Encouragement and support from senior management 2. Reassurance that even if the ideas fail, the intrapreneur will not lose his or her job or be "punished" in other ways Every entrepreneur knows the legends of great inventions. Ta k e 3M's Post-it® Note, for example. Back in the 1970s, 3M scientists Spencer Silver and Arthur Fry were toying around with possible uses for an adhesive Silver had discovered. The invention eventually resulted in the groundbreaking product 3M launched in 1980, which has since become an offce and household staple. 1. Pinchot III, Gifford and Pinchot, Elizabeth, "Intra- Corporate Entrepreneurship," Robert Schwartz's School for Entrepreneurs, Fall 1978.
2012 Exceptional Magazine