Frazier Deeter CPAs and Advisors


1230 Peachtree Street NE

Suite 1500

Atlanta, GA 30309

main 404.253.7500


3480 Preston Ridge Road

Suite 375

Alpharetta, GA 30005

main 404.573.4200


401 Commerce Street

Suite 920

Nashville, TN 37219

main 615.259.7600


2801 W. Busch Boulevard

Tampa, FL 33618


Spin offs and the art of thinking like an entrepreneur

02.25.2014 An astronaut, a miner, a daredevil and a navigator walk into a Big Corporation...

It’s the corporate version of the New Year’s Resolution — only this “battle of the bulge” is a quest to become a nimble entrepreneurial organization, one that’s better able to quickly respond to change and break new ground. The scenario plays out something like this: Massive global corporation, long respected as a market leader, feels the threat of “disruptive” new interlopers encroaching into their space. Corporation decides it needs fresh thinking and less rigidity so it decides to spin off a subsidiary that can behave like a startup and yield the kind of magic that seems to only occur in open, wall-less office suites teeming with casually dressed people who don’t have defined job titles.

We’ve seen these kinds of spin-offs recently at IBM and with Coca-Cola’s incubator efforts. Other companies have taken a less dramatic approach, declaring R&D as the entrepreneurial side of the house while the rest of the organization plods along as it always has. But these “solutions” (which often fail) really only cover up the symptoms, and don’t get to the heart of why large corporate organizations can’t seem to cultivate a holistic “intrapreneurial” spirit.

The problem is that companies traditionally behave in a manner that’s counter to how entrepreneurs view the world. Many of the key attributes that have made game-changers like Facebook highly successful are characteristics that companies shy away from — risk-taking and speed in particular. Like large corporations, entrepreneurs are highly focused on the trinity of Reward, Results and Growth, but there are some critical  personality traits that get them there. In other words, to develop “intrapreneurship,” companies need to have more of the following on board throughout the organization —not just in R&D:

  • Astronauts: The visionaries. Folks who are able to see what others can’t discern — including something that may not yet exist.
  • Miners: The people with unrelenting passion. Miners sense untapped potential and are driven to pursue and explore until they isolate these new opportunities and bring them to the surface.
  • Daredevils: Big Corporations may fear them, but daredevils are the ones who are skilled at negotiating the curves at the proper rate of speed. Preparation and control is part of their thought process.
  • Navigators: These are people who navigate frontiers that haven’t yet been claimed. Some might call them risk takers — but they’re really just innovating where others haven’t been.

I talk in greater detail about these entrepreneurial attributes in my book, AdVenture, but the lesson for large corporations is to stop thinking in terms of departments, job titles and organizational structure, and examine the journey itself. Develop an aspirational vision and mission and go after it with the company’s best resources, not just extra people you may have sitting around.

About the blogger

Moira Vetter is Frazier & Deeter's Entrepreneur guest bloggers. She is also the founder and CEO of Modo Modo Agency. She didn't get serious about business until third grade. That's when she figured out how to work the cash register at her dad's pharmacy. Thirty years and hundreds of clients later, her marketing counsel generates revenue for dozens of profitable brands. Her book, "AdVenture: An Insider's View of Getting an Entrepreneur to Market" is available on





CPA based investment management
Frazier & Deeter, a Top 100 Largest CPA Firm in the United States, has accountants and business advisors who offer a full range of assurance and advisory services in the areas of audit, tax and management consulting and personal tax planning and compliance. As a leading accounting firm, we serve clients across the nation and internationally that include closely-held companies, SEC companies, and nonprofit entities. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, we have been recognized as the 56th largest accounting firm in the nation, as one of the Top 25 Best Managed CPA firms in the country, and one of the Best Accounting Firms to Work for in the U.S.
Secure File Transfer
best firm to work for IPA Top 100 FirmsIPA Best of the Best 2015Top100Accountingfirm
©2016 Frazier & Deeter, LLC. All Rights Reserved.