Recruit newer employees to join your stalled team. They don't yet know the rules.
Leverage their passion by asking them to take risks (letting them know about the risks is optional).
These additional resources come with strong motivation and passion. They want to build their reputation. Partnering with an intrapreneur helps them achieve this goal.
The injection of resources and passion are often enough to push through the roadblocks.
Corporate veterans have seen it all. They've banged their head against the wall so many times that they are fairly quick to give up when the red tape gets thick. Any passion that they may have had for the new initiative becomes outweighed by memories of past bureaucratic battles.
Many of them will leave the team. Some may stick around with reduced passion. Often times the whole team will abandon the idea.
Finding the right mix of new blod is half human resources and half marketing. Where is the new blood? And what is the best way to attract them to the initiative?
This recruitment exercise can be done in stealth (common), or it can be done out in the open. Doing it out in the open is a bit revolutionary (see the Commando Mentoring hack). Often times an intrapreneur will recruit an evangelist who participates in the recruitment as a way of indirectly stirring up trouble.
As "youthful" employees join the team, they are offered very juicy and attractive work tasks by the intrapreneur. The intrapraneur, in essence, cedes authority to incoming members. They also open doors for the new members by leveraging their rich network of contacts formed across many years. This level of trust can be a surreal experience for someone who is new to a company. They are often expected to "earn their keep" before they are given any "cool work".
The intrapreneur, either openly or covertly, encourages the new members to bend the rules in order to make progress.
The final aspect of the solution is the re-engagement of the veterans on the team. The passion of the newcomers can rekindle lost hope. They also want to watch what happens when the fresh meat hits the corporate grinder, kind of like the attraction of watching a train wreck.
Interestingly enough, however, the new employees are often admired for their risk-taking and boundary-spanning. They can easily answer their critics with "I didn't know", or "Why are we doing it that way?".
And suddenly, progress starts to happen.
This hack also represents a mind-shift for corporate veterans. They start to look at incoming employees as the answer to their problems and not a "resource that has to be trained for 2 years before they're useful".
COINs are specifically designed to flourish outside the boundaries of command and control hierarchies.
There are a handful of good books on COINs, particularly Peter Gloor's Swarm Creativity.
I have personally formed a COIN at my corporation. I need to build a global system for tracking research and innovation metrics, so I have followed the steps for forming a COIN. In this instance I did not target newer employees, but the same principle applies.
These new hires report to a "line manager" for 9 months at a time, but over the course of the 27-months they report (on paper) to the same mentor that helps them to navigate the beginning stages of their career.
During their rotations I actually began to give them my own personal work assignments and the idea for commando mentoring was born.
This idea for "personal researchers" falls short of addressing the bigger initiatives that an intrapreneur often faces at a large corporation. "New hires" can be systematically injected into an existing team as a way of re-sparking passion.
The framework for injecting new hires came from conversations with Peter Gloor at MIT (along with his book Swarm Creativity).