We are proud to support the United States National Security Enterprise! Those are words you will hear on videos from the ETC website interviews that go to the heart of what this organization is all about. Still, the National Security Enterprise is big, bureaucratic and it is slow to change and react. Often it is overwhelming to believe that an organization the size of ETC can make a substantial impact. I am here to tell you that it can! Sometimes, all it takes is to overcome inertia and start the ball rolling to make significant changes.
We have just concluded a substantial study on the state of energetics. Energetics is a critical component to our national defense's future and a necessary technology moving forward in our nation's space and energy portfolio. The study identified seven overarching recommendations that are essential toward achieving this end. But it will not happen without establishing national advocacy, sizable financial investments, and radical changes to how the Government manages this technology. All seemingly overwhelming objectives. Is it possible to move the needle?
Entrepreneurs have had such a significant impact on this country. Just look around us. We have phones that are mini-computers, and every app you can think of streams videos. We can search anything, record high-resolution images, communicate with multiple people, track your current and future location, and even monitor your health. It was all almost unimaginable twenty-five years ago.
What does this have to do with ETC and Energetics? Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs are catalysts for change, the innovators working within a company or organization. They have many of the same traits. They create an idea or product, sell it, garner support, are proactive, become committed, and are almost obsessed with driving toward their vision. Intrapreneurs are motivated by the greater good over personal financial achievement.
Here is the example of a small group of government employees who, as part of a master's program assignment in the early '90s, had the idea of using the internet to create a contracting portal. All solicitations and contracts were now in the system, potentially saving millions of dollars in distribution costs and substantially reducing contracting time. Six weeks later, and with only a $150K investment from a senior leader, the site became operational. It was the Federal Government's first e-commerce site. That portal would soon service the Army, Navy, Commerce, State, and Interior Department before being given to the General Service Administration in 2001 and becoming FedBiz Opportunities and now SAM.Gov. Moved the needle? Absolutely!
There are dozen similar examples within the Government, where a few individuals made significant changes with limited resources and without initial support from senior leadership. Still, they accomplished extraordinary things!