Extrapreneurs, carriers of the new systemic economy


In 1988 I finished proudly my thesis at KULeuven.

“Intrapreneuship in Belgium”. Even though I had outstanding results, I am quite disappointed today about this nice dream of creating value and ventures from INSIDE another company.

I interviewed 30 leaders (80% of them are now dead or bankrupt :-S).

They all applauded the thing, and never did anything about it.

Why ?

Internal politics, rigidity, lack of trust, lack of competences, fear of losing control, lack of vision and creativity,…

The conclusions could exactly be the same today as in 1988. Nothing changed fundamentally. Just one thing: speed, complexity, enhanced fear and stress.

So it’s even more difficult to imagine such a status. Everyone is bolted to his chair inside controlled structures.

Now, we do not have a generation in front of us to scratch our back to re-invent our economy and society.

So, what I suggest is EXTRAPRENEURSHIP.

Extrapreneurship Scenario:

A big corp or SME leader teams up with an external entrepreneur-starter, GenY or GenZ, or maybe even a presenior wanting to contribute with his excellence some more…

Give him a mission and clean sheet, with a few resources (not too much please, it spoils).

(S)he has to search for more resources in the ecosystem of his project, starting with ideas and sectorial templates.

He creates a “Systemic” business model, and a business plan making money within 6 months (no more tolerance for first profits after 3 years… its not credible any more. Probably didn’t do the systemic thinking well enough.

The he starts his setup – at the margin of the big corp, with at least 1 synergy (sales, marketing, service).

Then he can eventually sell his shares back once the business-model is validated, and put it in mainstream.

Much faster, agile, flexibe, adaptable, muuuch cheaper.

This setup solves several problems at the same time:

– Blindness for innovation, and fear of change of traditional entrepreneurs and managers: extrapreneurs do it safely, but outside the company.

– Aging demography of leaders and lack of entrepreneurial succession: new young entrepreneurs with new ideas and systemic way of thinking and working can update the business models, but starting from a safe external space. They can afterwards make their business case and takeover existing SME’s and keep + develop employment.

– Too many bright (young or old) resources are unemployed. The can take their chance by teaming up intelligently with existing companies, and offer them new markets, new brands, new apps, new product/services.

– It will enable “soft transition” of economy and society, but with fast scaling of new business models.

– It will create a fabulous trans-sectorial knowledge base

– The chances of success is much higher, compared with startups which have very low residual employment creation after 3 years.

Michel de Kemmeter

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