Quantum Monkeys Blog

Intrapreneurs, pirates on the corporate sea

Innovation is key to success. We often see startups as hotbeds for innovation while larger companies are too mired in process, politics, and regulations to innovate, preferring to simply buy startups with a good product.

But it does not have to be that way. Very large companies such as Google, Apple, GE, Lockheed-Martin and so many others make good use of intrapreneurs to innovate in a manner similar to startups, without as many risks.

Intrapreneurs share the thirst for exploration and strange waters that their entrepreneur cousins have, while also enjoying breaking the rules of the calcified organizations they work for. Back in the early ’80s, Apple’s Macintosh team took up the pirate imagery and followed the maxim “Better to be a pirate than join the Navy”. That same renegade spirit inhabits intrapreneur teams everywhere to this day.

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago
Quantum Monkeys Blog

The emerging face of the 21st century organization

Different models compete to be the next big thing: “classic” Agile (and its frameworks such as Scrum, XP, SAFe), Modern Agile, Lean Kanban, Lean Startup, Management 3.0, Teal Organizations, Design Thinking, Podularity, Holacracy, Sociocracy, “flatarchy”, Deliberately Developmental Organizations, and more. Many of these models emerged to address specific contexts, and many of them are complementary to each other. This can become confusing fast.

What I notice is that what differentiate these models is often far less interesting than what they have in common. We can see these commonalities in their approaches to evolution and in their application in real companies.

A portrait of the new face of 21st-century organizations is slowly emerging through the fog of competing models. At its core are the elements shared across several models, often completed by individual elements taken from different models to better customize the approach to a particular business context.

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago