STOP! What if you could be the next world changer? Let’s hear it for the Intrapreneur!

STOP! What if you could be the next world changer? Let’s hear it for the Intrapreneur!

Speech Writer Leadership Speaker Intrapreneurs

Are you caught in a never-ending struggle of wanting to do something to change the world but work within an organisation and don’t want to work for yourself? Many people have been in the same situation and realised that they have the incredible power to become a world changer! What if you could be the next…? Let’s hear it for the “Intrapreneur!”



For an audio Blogcast version of this post click on the player below:

Do you commute, work out at the gym or walk the dog listening to top podcasters? Do you eagerly consume the words of the top bloggers? Do you search Youtube for the latest “star” of creating a 4 Hour Work week or a lifestyle of passive income? Then probably for you, as it is for me, it seems the main topic of conversation only focuses on one section of the business community, only on one section of leaders in the business world, the Entrepreneur. Now I would be the first to say that the world needs Entrepreneurs and there is more opportunity than ever before for the rise of the Entrepreneur. Where would we be without the James Dysons’, Richard Bransons’ and Viktor Kiams,’ “who loved it so much that he brought the company,” of the world, well maybe not Viktor, but you get the idea …

But I want to put a shout out for another vital, dynamic and creative segment of the business community that’s often overlooked. The fact is there are thousands of people bringing about social change from within organisations, put your hands together everybody, make some noise and let’s hear it for the Intrapreneur!

Definition of an Intrapreneur – It is an Entrepreneur that works for someone else! An Intrapreneur is the change maker working inside a company. In 1992, The American Heritage Dictionary acknowledged the popular use of a new word, Intrapreneur, to mean, “A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation”.

To be successful as an Entrepreneur you need a certain mix of skills, you need to:

  • Be self motivated
  • Be creative
  • Be a visionary
  • Be effective at sales
  • Be a good planner and manager of time
  • Be courageous
  • Be a strong communicator
  • Be persuasive
  • Be committed
  • Be willing to delegate
  • Be willing to take risks

And above all, possess enormous amounts of persistence!

Those people who are successful Intrapreneurs possess exactly the same set of skills but use them to bring about change, often social change, from within large organisations. My contention would be that in addition to the above, Intrapreneurs have to be better at sales, better at persuasion and have more persistence as they most always have to convince the CEO, MD or other Senior Managers working in often complex and fixed structures of operations that risk, change and opportunities are worth the investment in time, money and staffing.

It takes guts to be an Intrapreneur.
Do you have what it takes?
Do you have a passion to see change?
We only have one life to live, take action on your passion.

Let’s hear it for the Intrapreneurs!

Why do we need Intrapreneurs and what role do they play in the world today?

Intrapreneurs are often the mavericks in organisations who see the possibility for change and have the “chutzpah” to convince others to get on board with the vision. For example:

  • Sacha Carina van Ginhoven – A Winner in the recent “The League of Intrapreneurs” Competition. Sacha Carina spent 2 months in an Indian slum with engineers designing sanitation solutions including creating a cardboard toilet with UNICEF, and developing a mobile based address system together with TNT, Vodafone and local slum businesses.
  • Christine Gould – Head of Next Generation Engagement is an Intrapreneur at Syngeta – Christine is working with next generation leaders looking for solutions that solve the biggest challenge facing the world, how are we going to feed 9 billion people?
  • Nicolas Cordier - Category Manager and Social Business Intrapreneur at Leroy Merlin, a major DIY supply company in France. Nicolas sees his role and vision within Leroy Merlin “to help each inhabitant in the world to dream of his house and make it real.”

These are just a few of thousands who proudly wear the badge of Intrapreneur. Let’s hear for the Intrapreneur!

In praise of Intrapreneurs, Gib Bulloch Executive Director, Accenture Development Partnerships said, “I believe that small changes can set off chain reactions, especially when large organisations with a lot of influence are concerned… and that these small changes are heralding a quiet revolution.” Gib’s Tedx talk “Be the change you want to see in your company” is below.

Apart from the fascinating content, proof if anything that an Intrapreneur needs to be outstanding at speech writing and public speaking, Gib’s presentation is an excellent example of gaining attention and engaging the audience (see how he uses the prop of the bricks and keeps you wanting to know what is going to happen right till the end and he uses the “brick” as a metaphor many times in the speech)



Over the last six years I too have worn the badge of Intrapreneur. I am very grateful to the Chairman and the Managing Directors of the organisation I work for having the trust and confidence in me and my suggestions to allow me to become a change maker in Ukraine. Ideas do not necessarily have to originate with chief executives but it is important to the success of a project that senior leadership buys in from an early stage. I can remember the day when with a colleague we presented the idea of seeing Ukraine Without Orphans. When the Chairman and Trustees had faith in that idea (and us the people presenting it) a chain reaction started. Forever there will be generations of families in Ukraine, Russia and across the CIS that will be impacted by that decision. Ruslan Maliuta has grown and developed the seed of that idea that was planted that day into a movement that is now growing beyond the CIS across the world, to see a World Without Orphans.

one hope I have also had the privilege to recruit and work with an excellent team in Kiev led by Pavel Gladchenko and Lena Smal, we have been instrumental in and seen the growth of a mentoring project for orphans spread across the nation of Ukraine called One Hope. Over 300 trained and assessed mentors are now caring and befriending orphans helping theses special children gain life skills for one day when they leave the care system and start a life of their own. Small changes can set off chain reactions, especially when large organisations with a lot of influence are concerned.

So what about you? Are you an Intrapreneur? Could you become one? It may start small, it may be something that just brings change within your community or even organisation, but start today! Take one action today, it will set up the process of the chain reaction … (remember what knocked over the bricks) I would love to hear your story, please write to me and tell me how you are becoming a change maker in this world for good through working within an organisation. If not, at least join me in saying, “let’s hear it for the Intrapreneurs!



Posted on by Peter Billingham in Blog Posts, Leadership, Legacy, Public Speaking

About Peter Billingham

Leader, Learner, Speechwriter, Storyteller, Author. a.k.a. 'The Artful Speaker' Enjoy working on social action projects, Toastmasters, films & adventure travel.

2 Responses to STOP! What if you could be the next world changer? Let’s hear it for the Intrapreneur!

  1. Jo Pavely

    Brilliant .. Only this week I was saying to someone that I wouldn’t know where I’d be today without having been an Intrapreneur first and foremost in large corporates. Ask any entrepreneur ad I think they’d say that they were Intrapreneurs first !

    • Peter Billingham

      Thanks Jo – Of course, there is a real need for the rise of the entrepreneur, you could say the same! That’s why you are where you are now, but I often think that for many people they work much better to be the “Intrapreneur” – there is a place for both, there is a need for both. I think as employers it’s important to spot the Intrapreneur on our staff and release them to take risks. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Do you have any Intrapreneurs working for you?

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