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by Steve Todd | October 27, 2009

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When it comes to a career in high-tech, many of us dream about creating the “next big thing.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re a researcher, a developer, a manager, a salesperson, a marketer, or a field engineer. Any high-tech career exposes you to the break-neck pace of technological advancement.

Have you ever had a great idea? Are you certain that your inventions would be profitable? Do you want to lead a team that delivers game-changing technology to customers?

If so, I have a unique piece of advice for you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re fresh out of school or an industry veteran. My advice is to join a large, global, high-tech company.

This type of advice runs against the grain of conventional thinking. Common wisdom dictates that dreamers deliver their inventions as entrepreneurs at a small start-up. That may still be true, but don’t overlook the equally valid career path of the intrapreneur.

An intrapreneur, simply put, delivers ideas within a large corporation. You may have a long list of issues and concerns with this career path, including:

    • • Will my ideas get lost in a large company?

    • • Won’t my manager prevent me from doing what I want?

    • • How can I influence the executives that make all of the high-level decisions?

  • • Don’t large companies move too slowly?

These are all valid questions. Fortunately, I have answers. I’m living proof that a person in the trenches of a large corporation can invent and deliver. I’ve done it time and time again.

It’s all a matter of building influence.

There are three key behaviors that allow an intrapreneur to build influence. They are:

    1. Productivity: Corporations put their faith in people that know how to deliver.

    1. Initiative: People that deliver earn the freedom to invent on company time.

  1. Collaboration: Inventors rely on others to help deliver their ideas.

Intrapreneur = Productivity + Initiative + Collaboration.

Still believe that being an entrepreneur is the best career choice? You may be missing out on the best part of intrapreneurship: the chance to collaborate as part of a global team. Start-ups are geographically limited, but any large corporation worth its salt must have a global footprint in order to survive.

On this blog I’ll be covering the “tricks of the trade” when it comes to global, high-tech innovation. Welcome! It’s my hope that you too will learn how to Innovate With Influence.

Steve
http://stevetodd.typepad.com
Twitter: @SteveTodd
EMC Intrapreneur

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