Email Company – Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Book - email@example.com
Website Company – www.ttcinnovations.com
Website Book - http://unleashingtheintrapreneur.com/
Debbie Wooldridge, founding president and CEO of DW Training and Development, Inc. dba ttcInnovations, had an idea for helping businesses improve their performance through effective training strategies and programs.
Under her skillful and experienced leadership, ttcInnovations provides businesses with engaging learning solutions that adopt a host of performance support options. Through instructor-led and web-based training programs utilizing system simulations, virtual environments, and other innovative approaches, Debbie’s company has ultimately helped businesses enhance on-the-job performance, improve their customers’ satisfaction, deliver significant business results, and achieve their goals. Debbie's company has also created The Millennial Project, an interactive two-day workshop that provides companies with the tools and strategic roadmap needed to improve workforce processes and productivity.
Debbie is the author of two books, Unleashing the Intrapreneur – Changing the Face of Corporate America One Millennial at a Time and A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur.
It has now gained enough momentum that the concept of live streaming is something most people are familiar with and have even watched -- even if they have yet to do it themselves. In everything from pop culture, social media trends, and business marketing; you see it being hailed as the next big thing. It most likely is, at least for awhile, as our technology has finally caught up to a point where every person walking around with a smartphone and a data plan can now conceivably be the equivalent of a live television network. Yet the question begs to be asked, "how does this really apply to my business and how can it help me?"
We recently conducted a research deep dive at Varyiad of the most popular live streaming options currently available. Aside from the natural fit of news networks putting out current events & related interest pieces or the sharing of a music concert or other public event; the other uses are all over the place. Aside from the NSFW content that is inevitable, the vast majority of the live streaming content is currently made up of girls giving make-up tips, guys lifting weights, random people driving or sitting in their cars, and aspiring pop stars taking song requests to perform for their viewers. It is not perfect, but these are the early adopters trying to find their niche in the emerging marketplace that is being created as we speak. However, in the midst of all this it might be hard to find actual value in the endless streams being beamed your way 24/7/365. That is a fair assessment but one that might not be always the case. As society embraces this new technology and gets comfortable with the concept (like we always do), I believe you will see continued growth and adoption of this method of communicating -- both personally and professionally.
It is no doubt that the Internet changed the world and especially how business is conducted. For the last couple of decades, we have seen a never ending expansion of ways that we can get our business message or product in front of our core audience. Websites, email, SEO, SEM, AdWords, blogs, and social media are the big ones. Yet in almost all of those cases, until social media, we did not really know who we were talking to until they possibly converted into a sale and let us know the way they find out about us. Outside of maybe a posted comment, the real interactions were delayed until a phone call or meeting was able to be set. Then the real time question & answer session could begin. Stop and think for a moment that now, in real time, you could have that same discovery session, show off a product or service, or take general questions in the form of a live stream. It has the same potential benefit of a webinar but the ability to reach a much broader audience without the same commitment to downloading software and buy-in needed for them to actually sign up for a GoToMeeting session with you. By combining the live stream broadcast with some specific and targeted keywords to appeal to the niches you want to be in, you could conceivably pull in leads that might not be accessible easily via the other methods.
Do I think that live streaming will be the "one ring to rule them all" for getting out your content? Not exactly. It is just one more weapon in your marketing arsenal; but it is an interesting one to consider.
What are some ways you might use live streaming to get your brands message in front of your audience? Are you scared of it? Think its a waste of time? Let's discuss some ideas.
What is the difference between being an Entrepreneur VS Intrapreneur? The online business, startup, and entrepreneur space is alive and well with dozens of successful YouTube channels, social media accounts, blogs, and podcasts offering up valuable daily and weekly content. Some of these focus on the part-time side hustle and some encourage you to dive in and start that business you have always wanted; no matter your age or situation. However, it doesn't take too long to realize that there is something missing among the voices there. Only recently has it been hinted at by luminaries such as Gary Vaynerchuk who talks about the need to "reframe the entrepreneurial discussion about what success looks like". I am very encouraged that this is finally starting to be talked about because it arises from the same place I am coming from in my desire to start this venture of "Intrapreneur Empire".
For some, being an entrepreneur is either built into their DNA or they have the skills needed to develop to a point where that journey makes sense for them. Yet, for others it may be that they have "entrepreneurial tendencies" but maybe should not venture out on their own. That discussion is not happening as loudly as it should. It has become almost an insult in the entrepreneur/start-up space to say that you "work for someone else". Believe me, I understand why some people feel that way. Not every job or career path will allow you the freedom and resources to make the same kind of great strides that are possible in an entrepreneurial world. However, not every boot-strapped (or even well funded) startup venture will lead to fabulous success either. Sometimes you have to deal with an ignorant boss or a team of people who just don't get the vision that you see. Yet striking out on your own is not the ONLY path for you. Entrepreneurship may be the answer for some but it is not the "one ring to rule them all". Maybe exploring the path of an intrapreneur should be the consideration for some.
When most people think about entrepreneurs they usually make some assumptions about what that means. They know it has the ability to earn a fabulous lifestyle of success that involves the heights of comfort, freedom, status, financial stability, and material rewards. Sometimes, the entrepreneurs themselves even have grand ideas of where they will be 5 or 10 years down the road. They wholeheartedly believe that they are starting the next Microsoft, Apple, or Facebook. To them, a billion-dollar valuation or multi-million dollar buyout is surely just around the corner. They are either ignoring or are oblivious to the fact that the statistics are heavily stacked against that becoming a reality.
Now, don't misinterpret my words; I think that dreams are very important. It is vital for you to believe in what you are doing and have an unwavering dedication to achieving your goals. However, balancing that optimism with some heavy doses of realism cannot be forgotten. This is a theme that is covered frequently in the content being put out in the business community. Hard work. Perserverance. Focus. Determination. Making smart decisions. Hustle. They are all milestones that pave the road to success.
The thing that tends to be missing in the discussion is what that success should realistically look like. What are the goals you have to hit before you can announce to the world that "I made it"? The truth is that somewhere along the way they were distorted into being unrealisticly high. The impression is that you have to be a millionaire or nothing at all. "Get rich or die trying". Maybe it is an exaggeration of the "American Dream" or maybe it is Hollywood who has changed the conversation. Either way, the actual numbers of success are nebulous but the proverbial bar is undoubtedly high.
Over the last few years there has been frequent news coverage of "The 1% to 2%" group of ultra wealthy people in America. Keeping in mind the kind of wealth you envision when you hear about them; if you heard someone make the claim that they were in the top 10% group, would you be just as impressed? What about the top 5%? Here is where the truth needs to come out. According to statistics, if you are in the top 10% earning group that actually means you make $100,000 a year. That slightly more impressive 5% group...it is just $166,200 per year in earnings. Doesn't sound so staggering and unreachable does it? In fact, there are many jobs out there that will pay in the low six figures without ever having the need to start down an entrepreneurial path. Especially ones where some innovation, skills, and hustle will be welcomed within an existing organization and allow you to be compensated nicely for it. Or, if you did want to go down the entrepreneur path, you would need to generate just $400,000 in sales at a 25% profit margin to hit that six figure earning mark.
Another thing that Gary Vaynerchuk mentions in his rants on this topic is how the #6 employee of Facebook made a sizable amount of money. He does not give the specifics of that example so I took the time to gather them. Aaron Sittig. Have you ever heard of him? Probably not. Yet, he was a vital part of the company and used his talents, experience, and drive to be an integral part of the team that made the product what it is today. Guess what he came up with? The concept of tagging friends in photos. Was he an entrepreneur? Nope. He was an Intrapreneur. Yet he achieved wealth, success, and stability many of us may never have.
I had the opportunity recently to listen to a keynote speech by Steve Wozniak. During that talk he made it abundantly clear that he was not good at running a business. He had no savvy skills with management, sales, or marketing. If it had not been for Steve Jobs and his uncanny ability to design, market, and sell products - Apple Computer as we know it would never have existed. In fact, Steve Wozniak never thought about selling the homemade kit that became the Apple I. It was only after Jobs saw it that he started the journey that eventually lead to one of the most successful companies of all time. Steve Jobs was an Entrepreneur. Steve Wozniak was an Intrapreneur.
Ironically, it is Steve Jobs who is often linked with the word Intrapreneur even though he is not the one to have coined the term. After the fabulous success of the Apple II, Jobs became obsessed with bringing the Macintosh to the world. He assembled a team of internal Apple employees and demanded the same dedication and obsession from them to work on the project. In his words, " The Macintosh team was what is commonly known now as intrapreneurship—only a few years before the term was coined—a group of people going in essence back to the garage, but in a large company." In subsequent interviews he added the idea of an intrapreneurs as: "Dreamers who do."
America is built on the backbone of small business and our economy only thrives because of them. "As of the 2010 Census, there were 27.9 million small businesses registered in the United States, compared to just 18,500 companies of 500 employees or more. Included in that total figure are sole proprietorships (73.2 percent), corporations (19.5 percent), and franchises (2 percent). 52 percent of small businesses are home-based. The most important thing to note? 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms are small businesses." The vast majority of those are 5 employees or less and earn enough for the owners to make a decent living. That used to be what the American Dream was. Earning a decent living. It did not guarantee vast stores of wealth and earning 50x more than the average minimum wage worker.
Speaking of small businesses, what about those who are made up of 2nd or 3rd generation owners? The business was handed down to them from a parent or grandparent. What are they? Technically they are not entrepreneurs either in the sense they started something from nothing. They are Intrapreneurs. Yet they still have to roll up their sleeves, hustle, stay relevant, and continue to sustain and grow a business that is existing in a vastly different era then when it began.
What about you? What makes the most sense for your journey? I guarantee that even the people who have chosen the path of the entrepreneur are looking for a team of "dreamers who do". They want to supplement their vision with the experience and talents of others who want to innovate. You might not be building the house, but you can go back to the garage in someone else's house. Reframe what success looks like. Achieve success and purpose by being the best version of yourself in all the roles inside your business and personal life. Even if that is taking the reigns inside an existing organization and blazing a new path.
If you look on Twitter and in recent articles intrapreneurship may seem like a new concept or "buzzword," but it has actually been around for a while.
The original word “intrapreneur” was coined by Gifford Pinchot III in a 1978 paper written with his wife Elizabeth. It was later popularized by Steve Jobs in a 1985 Newsweek article. Jobs said, “The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as intrapreneurship… a group of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company.”
Some companies stifle innovation because there often isn’t room for people to explore outside of their job description. However, many of these employees have ideas that could be the next Macintosh or iPhone.
Here are some examples of organizations that allowed their employees ideas come to light and in turn they reaped great benefits.
1. Lockheed Martin
Idea: It wouldn’t be a post about intrapreneurship without the famous “Skunk Works” project. Skunk Works is another name for Advanced Development Programs or ADP. Lockheed Martin basically allowed Kelly Johnson, Skunk Works founder, to work as an autonomous organization with a small, focused team.
Benefit: Skunk Works created some of the most innovative aircraft models, including the SR71. Moral of the story: if you have an intrapreneur like Johnson in your organization, don’t fight back. Instead, give them the support and resources they need to thrive. Lockheed Martin learned early that successful intrapreneurship happens whenteam members are allowed to define a clear path with their idea and they are given the power to modify and innovate as needed without a crazy approval process. Most big innovations need to be modified throughout their development.
2. Texas Instruments
Idea: A TI researcher, Larry Hornbeck, had been experimenting with technology using tiny mirrors to redirect photons for almost a decade. In 1987, Hornbeck and his team developed Digital Micromirror Device. DMD was used for printing airline tickets at first but soon after TI started an internal venture called Digital Imaging Venture Project to expand on the efforts.
Benefit: For a long time, video projectors weighed the equivalent to a small child and cost upwards of $15,000. Hornbeck realized this technology could greatly decrease the size and cost of the digital projector and it soon became an industry standard. He even received an Emmy award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development, talk about some serious intrapreneurial bragging rights.
3. Massachusetts Department of Correction
Idea: A guard suggested a change in the way Massachusetts Department of Correction stored their inmate photos. Instead of taking pictures with film and storing them the old fashioned way, why not use digital cameras and use a database for image storing.
Benefit: The department has sixteen correctional facilities and in the first year of implementation alone it saved $56,000 dollars on film and most likely a lot of clerical headache. Side note—if you haven’t read Ideas are Free there are many examples like this one, small ideas can be just as beneficial as sweeping innovation efforts.
4. W.L. Gore
Idea: W.L Gore (who most people know from Gore-Tex fabric) gives employees “dabble time” or 10% of their work day to develop new ideas and work on personal projects. One employee, Dave Myers, identified that one of their products, ePTFE a coating for push-pull cables, could be used for comfortable to use guitar strings.
Benefit: The coated strings proved to only be marginally more comfortable but they kept their tone longer than conventional guitar strings. After W.L. Gore launched them under the brand name ELIXIR Strings, they are now the No. 1 selling acoustic guitar string.
Idea: Just like W.L .Gore, Google allows time for personal projects. Some of Google’s best projects come out of their 20 percent time policy. One of these is something you probably use multiple times a day, Gmail.
Benefit: Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, started on the project in 2001 and worked up to its launch on April 1, 2004 (April Fools but not really.) Gmail became the first email with a successful search feature and the option to keep all of your email (hello 1GB of storage) instead of frantically deleting to stay under your limit. The initial launch was by invite only, quite the hot commodity. Now, it’s considered a faux pas not to have an email address ending in @gmail.com.
Idea: Every year, Shutterstock hosts an annual hack-a-thon over the span of 24-hours (plus 4 hours of demo presentations at the end.)These challenges are designed to allow employees to pursue any ideas they have for the betterment of the company. Why should you host a hack-a-thon? They encourage collaboration, creativity, and innovation—some of the best qualities of engaged employees.
Benefit: Awesome ideas come out of these hack-a-thons, they save money, increase revenue and improve processes. To name a few projects that were born at hack-a-thons: Spectrum—an awesome user experience tool that allows you to search through Shutterstock only using color. Oculus—a data analysis tool that came out of the 2012 hack-a-thon and is now used at Shutterstock every day.
Idea: Sometimes, intrapreneurship happens by accident. Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M, was attempting to create an extremely strong adhesive to use in aerospace technology. Instead, he accidentally created a light adhesive that stuck to surfaces well but didn’t leave a nasty residue.
Benefit: Instead of throwing away this idea because it didn’t solve the problem at hand, he stuck with it until he found a use for it. After many years of persistence and spreading the word it finally clicked with someone else, Art Fry—another 3M scientist. He thought back to one of Silvers seminars and they began to develop a product together. Post-It notes were born and if you are the vast majority of desk workers you’re probably looking at a pad of them right now.
8. Sun Microsystems
Idea: Patrick Naughton, a developer, almost left Sun in 1995 because he believed they were missing out on the fast-growing PC consumer market. He was convinced to stay and help Sun set up a group dedicated to the consumer market. This is where group member, James Gosling, created an elegant object-oriented programming language called Oak, which was later renamed Java.
Benefit: This was initially created to help set up Time Warner cable boxes. When that deal fell through, Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun, recognized the value of Java and that it could be implemented across all different platforms. As you know, Sun has since merged into Oracle and Java now runs the world with 930 million Java Runtime Environment downloads each year and 3 billion mobile phones run on Java.
Idea: Ken Kutaragi, a relatively junior Sony Employee, spent hours tinkering with his daughters Nintendo to make it more powerful and user friendly. What came from his work is one of the most recognizable brands in the world today, The Sony Playstation.
Benefit: Many Sony bosses were outraged at his work, thinking that gaming is a complete waste of time. Luckily someone in a senior position saw the value in the product and thankfully so, because now Sony is one of the world leaders in the prosperous gaming industry. This shows that company leaders should always be open to innovation—no matter how farfetched and pointless it may seem.
Idea: Originally called the “awesome button,” the Facebook Like button was first prototyped in one of Facebook’s infamous hack-a-thons.
Benefit: Facebook has never released statistics based on the like rate and certain time frames. But to all of us in the computer using world it is pretty evident how the invention of the like button affects us on a daily basis. Companies like Facebook, who are constantly innovating and changing, are some of the most successful out there.
As you can see, great ideas and products and came result from letting your employees think, experiment, and play. How you do this is different for every company. An official “20% time” rule works at some organizations, while hack-a-thons are a better idea for others. What’s important is that you embrace the overall goal of engaging employees, and choose a system for applying that vision that fits with your company culture.