Launching the Intrapreneur Lab

By Milan Samani, Course Director, The Intrapreneur Lab

Launching the Intrapreneur Lab

Last year a few of us from Leadership Laboratories, Business Fights Poverty and Accenture Development Partnerships had an idea.

We were talking about ‘shared-value’ – business ideas that make a profit through benefitting society.

Looking at the success stories, we saw that often, these projects were driven by just a few individuals and sometimes only one person – individuals who believed in their idea and found a way to make it happen. Who saw an opportunity others didn’t and worked through the system to make it a reality.

There are many definitions of a leader. But the one I like best is simply that a leader is someone we follow; not because we have to but because they inspire us.

I don’t think many (any?) of us are born inspirational. But we can become inspirational through our life experiences – the degree to which we work towards something that impacts others and leaves the world a slightly better place than we found it. And along the way, we encounter a thousand obstacles – each one seemingly insurmountable. But when we figure out how to surmount them – to look within ourselves and discover a hitherto untapped faculty to think more clearly, persuade more persuasively, articulate more eloquently or simply blag our way through – we grow. We develop within ourselves abilities we didn’t know we had. Others see this and, inspired by our example, they follow our lead. And by fulfilling our potential, we inspire others to fulfil theirs – and inch-by-inch, change happens.

So we had an idea.

What if we could take a group of aspiring intrapreneurs from large companies – individuals or teams who were (probably along-side their day job) working on a project that could make a profit and do some good.

What if we could take these people and put them on a 3-day programme at the Said Business School where they would interact with some real leaders in the field – not just thought-leaders but some of the world’s leading intrapreneurs – people like Nick Hughes, the man behind M-PESA or Marika McCauley Sine, the woman behind Coca-Cola’s #5by20.

And then give them (along-side their day-job), 3 months of support – mentoring and business consulting support from senior consultants at Accenture Development Partnerships who have direct experience of socially-orientaed innovation,, executive coaching from Leadership Laboratories and crowd-sourced expertise and networking from the 12,000-strong network of Business Fights Poverty.

Could such a programme help get some tangible intrapreneurial projects off the ground? And in the process, help the individuals behind them develop some of the intrapreneurial leadership qualities necessary for their success?

Over the next 3 months, we’re going to find out – we called the programme The Intrapreneur Lab and the pilot is on 14-16 October 2013 at the Said Business School, Oxford.

We have participants for the full 3-month programme from Barclays, Novartis and GSK and delegates for the 3-days from SABMiller, Virgin and Vodafone. The guest faculty includes:

Prof. David Grayson CBE, Cranfield School of Management

Erik Simanis, Cornell University;

Nick Hughes, Founder of M-Pesa;

Marika McCauley Sine and Adrian Ristow, The Coca-Cola Company – intrapreneurs behind #5by20 and Project Last Mile

Christine Gould, Syngenta – intrapreneur behind Thought For Food

Miriam Turner and Dr Nick Hill, Interface – intrapreneurs behind Net-Works

Graham Simpson, GlaxoSmithKline – Intrapreneur behind Low Cost Diagnostics for Africa

Amit Mehra, Reuters Market Light – intrapreneur behind RML

Simon Devonshire, Telefonica;

Anuradha Bajaj, DFID;

Maggie De Pree, League of Intrapreneurs;

Gib Bulloch, Accenture Development Partnerships

Can I attend?

Yes, if you’re an Intrapreneur i.e. you work for a large company and have an idea/project that can benefit society and your company’s bottom line

Find out more:

To find out more, click here to email Natasha Ncube.

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