"An extrapreneur is the intrapreneur who not only chooses to apply her/his talents to her/his own organization, but also applies those talents externally to other organizations and then brings those experiences back internally."
- Definition by Michele DeStefano, Law Professor
A new breed – extrapreneurs – is becoming increasingly important in today’s highly tech driven world, helping facilitate and solve problems BETWEEN companies, organisations and industries that directly impact the end consumer. They work like bees and cross pollinate ideas along the value chain. They connect dots for a living. They do this from an altruistic core and share information that large companies on their own would not normally share, for the betterment of consumers and the end-end value chain.
As an example, food production and FMCG has become a game of high volume and razor thin margins with tremendous amounts of waste being created along supply chains. Extrapreneurs would look at a system like this and work on 2 sides: firstly, from a consumer perspective to educate them on consumption and secondly from a manufacturing perspective on the problems that arise when businesses are solely focused on pushing volume and embracing true consumer demand.
The problems we face are too big for any one person or institution to solve on their own. Organisations need to spend more time investing in extrapreneurs. Non-profits and companies should explore ways to identify and support individuals who connect the dots for change between broad, global networks.
In our globalised world, with increasing consumption and a decreasing natural resource base, extrapreneurs help us all learn faster and manage better. Isn't that something we should all get behind?
Do you identify as an extrapreneur? Do you know anyone who is/aspires to be an extrapreneur? Have some feedback on this article? Get it touch! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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