Question of the Week: These days, talent is transient, people moving back and forth from employee to entrepreneur, so how does one manage the shift?
PeakActivity CEO Manish Hirapara has some insight.
“There are great opportunities afforded to you in a big company—being an intrapreneur. That’s kind of what I did at Office Depot,” says Hirapara. “I took advantage of opportunities to innovate, to build new paradigms. Of course, there are different reporting structures and you have to play more politics. As long as you keep your end customer in mind and the value you’re bringing to the market, it works. It’s definitely not for everyone. I was fortunate in that I had grown up in big companies and had experience in big companies, so I knew how to navigate the structure. And it’s interesting going back to a company that you left, because you already have an established network and rapport with people. It’s not like starting from scratch. What I actually found is that I started bringing more of the entrepreneurial tips and tricks into the organization rather than the other way around. I didn’t feel like the organization was impacting me and changing my mind as much as I was being that intrapreneur, trying to drive innovation from within. During my second stint at Office Depot, it was easier to launch things; it was easier to develop things.”