What It Takes To Be A Successful Intrapreneur - Page 2 of 6

What It Takes To Be A Successful Intrapreneur

6 Ways to Reach Business Success Sooner
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through phases,” he offers. “When corporations are trying to generate revenue, intrapreneurship opportunities increase.” He explains that, despite the demands for the creative development of new products and services that can enhance the profitability of a business, in large organizations such innovation only takes place when there are intrapreneurs to drive it. They are the individuals who, because of their work in a specialized area or unit, gain a unique perspective on how changes in one area of a company’s business can impact the organization overall. Enterprising employees will often make recommendations to senior executives on how they can capitalize on these market shifts.

While working on a new $43.9 million contract with the Social Security Administration (a contract not typical of the Department of Defense jobs Lockheed usually pursued) an idea suddenly struck Gooden: “Why not go after more civil agency contracts?” Researching the possibility led her to two important findings: Government had an increasing need for information technology services and legislation on buying information technology was changing—to Lockheed’s advantage. Until that time Lockheed had focused on delivering very large and technically challenging solutions, which was where the government focused 80% of its $26 billion information technology budget in 1993. Of that budget, $13 billion, or 50%, was being contracted to companies like Lockheed. Only 20% of those contracts were for information technology services. Gooden recognized, however, that the industry was changing and growing in the area of information technology services and that Lockheed could capitalize on this growth if the company would agree to expand the type of contracts it procured.

After months of gathering research and outlining a plan of execution, Gooden was ready to sell the idea to her superiors. With her heart in her throat, she stood in a room surrounded by senior management, attempting to persuade them that this was a move they had to make to remain competitive. “Scared, excited, anxious—I was all the above,” she recalls. But determination kept her steady. Management agreed with the plan and Lockheed Martin Information Technology was born, with Gooden as president, a condition in her proposal.

“Execution is by far the most exciting part,” says Gooden. “At first I felt fearful about whether or not management would accept my plan but once the plan, was accepted then I was equally as fearful of executing the plan,” she recalls.

“There is a sign on my wall—a big red circle with an x through it but in the middle of it is the word ‘can’t’ in large letters. We decided that success wasn’t an option but rather a mandate.”

As Gooden predicted, today only 20% of the government’s budget (which now totals $71 billion) is spent on large and challenging solutions and 80% is budgeted for information-technology services. The government now also doles out 80% of its total budget in contracts.

LMIT contributes over $2 billion, up from $8 million 10 years ago, to the $35.5 billion in information-technology-generated revenue for Lockheed and enjoys 12% market share. LMIT, an