Over the 4th of July holiday week, I was thinking about how to update my LinkedIn profile. During the same time, I stumbled on a thought provoking and brave conversation on video between David Armano of Edelman Digital and Bryan Elliott of Behind the Brand. I've been following David for a while given his digital marketing and social leadership, and knew of Bryan's work but hadn't tuned in yet. Between the picnic and fireworks, I watched their interview above and it hit me; sparks flew! I'm both an intrapreneur and entrepreneur, and these roles are sometimes at odds with one another.
"An intrapreneur is someone who works in an entrepreneurial fashion with some of the benefits of a big organization backing them."
- David Armano, EVP at Edelman Digital
When working for someone else to help them achieve business goals and serve customers, I'm an intrapreneur. And when I'm not working for someone else -- either after hours or in between full-time employment -- I'm an entrepreneur focused on creating value for people. Seems pretty clear, right? But the reality is most employers don't have the vision or guts to hire intrapreneurs or entrepreneurs. Ektron is an exception. They embraced all aspects of who I am as a professional and human being. More companies should follow suit given the world's challenges and many opportunities before us.
Lately I've been leaning toward the intrapreneur role to help companies create and implement community/media strategies and cross-functional teams that enable them to reach, engage and empower stakeholders. My work these past few years has been meaningful and rewarding, but every project (if that's the essence going into it) has a beginning, middle and end. So here we are.
Perhaps an easier way to look at this going forward is just like you, I'm a creator at the core. We all have the ability to innovate, take chances and create value for customers and organizations. If you need a traditional definition, ask yourselve where you stand. Are you an intrapreneur, entrepreneur or both? Or simply accept that we're all creators and express yourself with this point of view.
Thanks for taking time with this post/video. With help from many others, I'm building and supporting a community of creators where it's their space to create. Join us if these ideas resonate and share with others.