Intrapreneurs need to learn the TANGO

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Intrapreneurs need to learn the TANGO


extract from an article by Mandar Apte, full article end of post*

….Intrapreneurs are explorers; but social Intrapreneurs are a unique breed; always thinking of ‘business as a force for good’ and how to leverage any business challenge as an opportunity. They have an insatiable appetite to challenge status quo and create shared value (value for both business and society). However, in our passion to make a difference, we need to be mindful that the structures, systems and people around us need not «yet» share our views, often judging and dismissing our ideas based on untested assumptions and for fear of failure. It would be a personal choice to gracefully exit. However, if we choose to stay within the existing organizational structure and aspire to be successful, then based on personal experience, we will need to learn to TANGO – an acronym that …

T — Timing our entrances (and re-entrances!) There is a «time» for every good idea. Any novel idea in specific is always ahead of its time. We will need to cultivate patience and instead focus our attention on refining the idea (in the background), knowing that if the idea has genuine merit, it will be appreciated and valued.

A — Authentically aligning our purpose (with the line supervisor!) As social intrapreneurs, we must use our empathy skills to understand the habits of our organization and individuals (leaders). This includes an introspection of the trigger -> behavior -> reward mechanism that has kept the status quo in place. We also need to know the «line» drawn by management because the «lines» that they draw are more important to understand than those that we draw. Having a deep knowledge and understanding of this «external» environment will then help us to design innovative strategies to influence a different behavior for the «same trigger» and could increase our chances of getting support to do what is needed. Obviously, it is important to stay true to our values and be our authentic self, while also aligning with the priorities of the organization.

N — Nurturing our relationships/partnerships (collect the dots!) Innovation is a social process and very often a «drunkard’s walk». It is therefore important to build authentic relationships and keep expanding our networks i.e. keep «collecting» dots (with people from both inside and outside our organization). To do this, we may need to invest our time and resources for improving our «own» ability to develop stronger interpersonal skills and developing a habit of selflessly helping these connections to overcome «their» challenges and supporting «their» dreams.

G — Growing our solutions (incubate, think small, lean) We know that most leaders (especially in large organizations) are risk averse. One of the key problems with a novel (crazy) idea is that absent ‘information’, people seem to feel compelled to judge it based on ‘untested’ assumptions. Most radical ideas however will require actually ‘doing something’ (a structured experiment) to create a learning opportunity. So even though you may have a «big idea», learn to think small and practice the art of bringing key decision makers on a journey through effective use of story-telling.

O — Organizing our people and resources (connect dots to unleash!) Finally, when the opportunity presents itself, we need to bring together a unique alliance of people, skills and resources to take the idea forward.

To be an effective and efficient social intrapreneur, I have also recognized the need to learn how to manage our emotions (and inner well-being)… I hope you feel inspired to explore this further and hope it will help you with your TANGO!

Thanks to Tango Mrs. Mandar Ape!!

*you can read his full article  pinchando aqui.

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