The Global Intrapreneur

by Steve Todd | November 02, 2009

  • My Vault

In my last">postI discussed the intrapreneur career choice, and defined an intrapreneur as anemployee that delivers his or her ideas as part of a large, high-techcorporation. I also addressed the incorrect stereotype that an entrepreneur is theonly career choice when it comes to innovation.

 

Both careers paths have their pros and cons. Whenconsidering which path to take, I am of the opinion that the intrapreneurchoice presents a rather significant benefit: a global experience.

 

Joining a start-up does not necessarily mean that anentrepreneur lacks the opportunity to collaborate with global technologists. Itis common for new companies to establish technology teams in two or perhapsthree global locations.

 

A large, global company, however, should already have anestablished technology footprint throughout the world. Global productdevelopment for large corporations is a must-have. Diverse cultures createbetter products together. Purchase decisions in some countries are based on thepresence of a local R&D center. Geographically distributed technologistshave greater access to research at their co-workers’ local universities.

 

Intrapreneurs can have much more global fun tapping intothis network of innovation. As an example, let’s explore the world-wideopportunities available at a few high-tech companies.

 

Consider my corporation (EMC). I work in Massachusetts. I have access to localresearchers at HarvardUniversityand MIT.I’m building an information storage devicewith my co-workers in ResearchTriangle Parkin North Carolina(highest percentage of PhDpopulation in the world) and colleagues in St. Petersburg,Russia(frequentcollaboration with St. PetersburgStatePolytechnicalUniversity).I joined with my co-workers inShanghai,Chinaandentered an idea in EMC’s global innovation contest. Some of these ideas are ontheir way to becoming products.

 

There are additional EMC technology teams located inIreland,India,Israel,France, and theNetherlands. All of them are tiedtogether on a common social-media backbone known as EMC ONE. This type ofglobal availability is fertile ground for innovation in a way that can’t beachieved by a new start-up.

 

Take a few minutes and research the global reach andlocations of other large, high-tech corporations, such as">IBM,">Cisco,and Microsoft.

 

“Globally collaborative employee” is certainly something thatyou want to write down on your resume; but it’s more than that.It’s an unforgettable way to deliver yourideas.

 

How can you make your voice heard in these types of globallyexpansive corporations? This is the essence of innovating with influence, andfuture blog posts will be covering the basics ofglobal employee impact.

Filed Under: Technology

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