Intrapreneurship and Innovation in the age of Digital Transformation

We live in an age of transformation where every industry is being digitalized and disrupted. Disruption occurs when data is digitized and decentralized, open-sourced and crowdsourced, accelerated and interconnected, available and accessible, shared and applied, reviewed and validated, analyzed and interpreted, and customized and personalized.

Disruptions are accelerating exponentially, and the scope of technological advancements that occurred over one year in AD 2000 now occur every thirty seconds. In ten years, technological advances will be one thousand times greater than today. In twenty years, one million. Technology change is now happening faster than humans can cognitively grasp. No one will ever catch up. What does all this mean for business as usual? By 2027 the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company is projected to be 10-12 years. For most organizations, the digital transformation will be an extinction-level event. What industries are headed for oblivion right now? Manufacturing, medicine, transportation, retail, energy, music, and education are all being digitalized and rapidly becoming personalized, cheap or free, autonomous, and instantly delivered. The digital transformation is breaking the fundamental structures of business and society.

It’s not just about digital disruption and technologies. It’s about rapidly responding to changing stakeholder needs, behaviors, and expectations. It’s about new competencies like being more agile and ambidextrous, people-oriented, innovative, customer-centric, streamlined and optimized, tapping into big data and unstructured data sources. It’s about new business models driven by customer experience, stakeholder collaborative value creation, flexibility, adaptability, and innovation. It’s about hyper-awareness and hyper-connectivity across processes, divisions, and ecosystems, integrating front end and back office, data from “things” and people, teams, technologies, and various stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Digital transformation is not just about technology organizations or industries. Digital transformation leaders can be found in virtually all industries as they work to secure their leadership role in the digital industrial revolution and digital transformation economy. There are no safe harbors. Digital transformation is industry-agnostic, impacting nearly all activities, functions, processes, workforce engagement and collaboration, and stakeholder and customer experience and expectations for all organizations across all industries.

At the core, digital transformation is about human transformation. Humans are the creators, users, and drivers of innovation, disruption, and digital transformation. Human adaptation is becoming the limiting factor in the human-machine interface. Organizations are no longer held back by technology but by mindset, culture, and organizational constraints.

7 Strata of Intrapreneurial Organizations

The book 7 Strata of Intrapreneurial Organizations: Self-Disrupt and Innovate Faster Than Customers or Competition provides a framework for organizational transformation and a roadmap for innovation. The level of transformation required goes far beyond just incremental and disruptive innovation, a digital business model, or even a digital transformation. A complete metamorphosis must occur where culture (and behavior) becomes the driver of creativity, the key to innovation. Manager-owners become the drivers of workforce engagement, bridging a seventy percent variance in employee participation. Across the organization, workforce intrapreneurs (with an entrepreneurial mindset) become the drivers of innovation and self-disruption, leading to organizational self-disruption. Customer stakeholders lead the dance and become the drivers of value creation. Business ecosystems become the drivers of collaboration, creating greater value for all stakeholders. Change management becomes the driver of rapid adaptation. Innovation management becomes the driver of agile and ambidextrous growth for both core sustaining innovation and beyond-core disruptive innovation.

7 Strata of Intrapreneurial Organizations focuses on digital transformation in the context of equipping and engaging people, the greatest asset and most difficult challenge. People are the limiter in the race for change. People are the stakeholders and catalysts for effecting innovation, self-disruption, and digital transformation. People are the key to surviving the chaos and surfing the digital wave to thrive in the future.

7 Strata of Intrapreneurial Organizations assimilates and summarizes what cutting-edge organizations worldwide are doing to survive and thrive in the digital transformation. It brings together and synergizes complementary methodologies and practices to provide transformational leaders, innovation labs, and intrapreneurs with an end-to-end, idea to impact (ideation, problem discovery, viability and incubation, launch and acceleration, scaling up, reshaping the core) intrapreneurial spirit, framework, and roadmap that enables any organization to equip their people to rapidly adapt to disruptive change faster than the customer or the competition.

“The future is faster than you think.”

– Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

About The Author

Michael McCausland has over thirty-five years of diversified leadership, business startup, and corporate management experience in multiple industries, resulting in a broad understanding of strategy and operations, organizational alignment, change management and culture transformation, innovation management, human resource development, and finance in for-profit and nonprofit sectors. He is a professional speaker, trainer, coach, consultant, and author of two books—7 Strata of Intrapreneurial Organizations (2022) and Pioneering in the 21st Century: Survival Skills for the Transformation Generation (2012)—and over forty courses and train-the-trainer programs.

In 1985, he founded McCausland Associates International LLC, a consulting firm focused on providing end-to-end solutions for strategy development and organizational alignment coupled with change management and culture transformation practices.

Before the formation of MAI in 1985, Michael was licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate and manage a commercial nuclear power plant. After his time in operations, Michael stepped out to form a consulting company that has provided support services to more than 50% of the operating nuclear power plants in the United States. Michael pioneered accelerated learning and advanced teaching techniques throughout the nuclear power industry for classroom and simulator learning environments. “In the late 1980s, he facilitated his first large-scale culture transformation initiative at the Toledo Edison power station. He went on to develop one of the premier large-scale change models designed to provide a process road map for rapid, large-scale transformation projects. He used this change model to architect and implement the design and rollout of a core process across twenty plant sites simultaneously in nine months for a workforce of 20,000 members. Since then he has worked across many industries and settings in over 100 countries.

In 2016, Michael attended MIT to become a certified entrepreneurship knowledge partner for training in the MIT systematic approach to entrepreneurship, and he launched the Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurs (which was later absorbed by Eship Global Inc.) in 2020. In 2018, Michael attended the Growth Institute to learn their Scaling Up methodology. Since 2016, LIFE and Eship Global Inc. have trained over 5,000 people, created six entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship training and coaching courses, and launched local entrepreneurship ecosystem events in eight countries. Past clients include Accenture, Consolidated Edison, Department of Homeland Security, Duke Energy, Exelon Nuclear, Pacific Gas & Electric, New York Power Authority, and Al Fahim Enterprises in the Gulf.

Michael’s current focus as the founder and CEO of Eship Global Inc. is to serve Fortune 500 companies in transforming their people and culture for success in the digital age through training and equipping, change management, innovation management, culture transformation, and leadership and ecosystem development.


We have the answers, it’s the questions we don’t know. 7 Strata of Intrapreneurial Organizations provides a comprehensive transformation framework and an innovation road map for navigating the digital age, and it also asks a lot of great questions that make you think! The book offers great guidance, from ideation to impact, and clearly lays out the challenges corporate scale-ups must overcome to achieve success.
Verne Harnish
Author of Scaling Up
The global pandemic, international conflicts, and instabilities have rocked the foundations of how we conduct business. Nothing in our business value chains will be left untouched. 7 Strata of Intrapreneurial Organizations is a must-have playbook that helps businesses cross the digital chasm and find ways to thrive despite the uncertain global business climate. This is a comprehensive tell-all text for corporate entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals. Through the practical insights from this book, you will be equipped, empowered, and encouraged to identify opportunities to innovate and transform your business from the inside out.
Andrew Ngui
Former Senior Program Manager, MIT Bootcamps
Innovation can seem like a complex process. Mike’s insights have helped guide our new product and services teams at The Dock toward strategies, methods, and mindsets that lead us right to the root of the customer problems and the means for designing creative, viable solutions to solve them.
Andy Dalton
Innovation Lead Manager, The Dock Innovation Hub, Accenture