激情燃烧的人: 你可能也知道，内部创业精神这一理念在美国企业界有着悠久而富有传奇色彩的历史。它要回溯至二次世界大战期间，美国洛克希德马丁公司（Lockheed Martin）知名的“臭鼬工厂”。离我们最近的一个例子是苹果公司（Apple），苹果旗下产品麦金托什电脑（Macintosh）是由史蒂夫•乔布斯领导的一支小型非正式团队研发出来的。乔布斯曾说过，这一项目的完成其实就是“一群人重回地下车库搞研发，只不过车库换成了大公司的地下室”。
平肖是一位来自西雅图的咨询师。他运营一家名为班布里奇研究所（Bainbridge Graduate Institute）的商学院。他是这所商学院的创始人，他也因提出了“内部创业者”的概念而闻名。你可能也会对他的两本著述感兴趣，一本是《内部创业：成就创业梦想无需另起炉灶》（Intrapreneuring: Why You Don't Have to Leave the Corporation to Become an Entrepreneur），另一本是《内部创业者商业创新行动指南》（Intrapreneuring in Action: A Handbook for Business Innovation）。我们在平肖的网站上还可以看到 “内部企业家十诫”。
Dear Annie: I have an idea for what I think would be a terrific new line of business for the company I work for, but I'm daunted by the thought of actually trying to get it off the ground. Senior managers here sometimes talk about encouraging people to be more "intrepreneurial," but this isn't really a startup-incubator type of culture like, for instance, Google. (Most of our businesses, which are widely diversified, are in old-line manufacturing and transportation.) I need to figure out the best way to approach higher-ups about getting support, including funding and staffing, for my idea. Can you or your readers give me any pointers? — All Fired Up
Dear AFU: As you probably know, intrapreneurship has a long and storied history in U.S. companies, going back to the famous "skunk works" at Lockheed Martin (LMT) during World War Two. A more recent example is Apple's (AAPL) Macintosh, which was developed by a small, informal team led by Steve Jobs, who later described the project as "a group of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company."
"Innovation in companies doesn't happen without intrapreneurs," says Gifford Pinchot. "Almost every big, game-changing invention you can name is the result of a passionate person pushing it through despite others' efforts to kill it."
Pinchot, a Seattle consultant who founded and runs a business school called the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, is generally credited with having coined the term "intrapreneur." He wrote two books you might want to check out: Intrapreneuring: Why You Don't Have to Leave the Corporation to Become an Entrepreneur and Intrapreneuring in Action: A Handbook for Business Innovation. Take a look, too, at Pinchot's web site, which features 10 Commandments for Intrapreneurs.
Commandment No. 1 may give you pause: "Come to work every day willing to be fired." Gulp. Trying to launch a new business within a huge bureaucracy isn't for the faint of heart, in part because, Pinchot says, it "triggers the corporate immune system," inviting resistance from people who see any change to the status quo as a threat. (In your own company, I suspect you know who these people are or you wouldn't be, as you say, "daunted.")
Based on his own experience (he once started a new consulting business within a large firm), and that of hundreds of other intrapreneurs he has interviewed and studied, Pinchot suggests three ways to start turning your idea into a reality:
1. Find an influential sponsor. "These days, there is less money around for trying out new lines of business, because so many companies are in cost-cutting mode," Pinchot notes. "But there is always a way to get resources for the right project." Begin by persuading one higher-up that your idea can fly -- maybe one of those senior managers you mention who talks about encouraging intrapreneurship. Says Pinchot, "Friends in high places can calm the corporate immune system for you" and champion your cause.
2. Connect what you're proposing to what the company is already doing. Rather than pitch your idea as a radical new concept (even if it is one), Pinchot advises describing it as "a logical extension of one of the company's current businesses. Too much change too fast scares the hell out of people, so avoid overdramatizing or overpromising. Emphasize that you are just exploring the idea and testing it with potential customers, which is always a sound strategy anyway."