Becoming an Intrapreneur

Victor joined Nielsen in 2013 as a statistical Analyst in Mexico City and is now an Innovation Project Manager in Santiago, Chile.

Victor joined Nielsen in 2013 as a Statistical Analyst in Mexico City and is now an Innovation Project Manager in Santiago, Chile. In 2017 he helped launch the Mexico chapter of N-GEN, our cross-generational employee resource group. And in 2019, he helped launch MOSAIC, our multinational employee resource group, in Chile.

If you asked me to describe my role in Nielsen in only one word, intrapreneur would be it. While that’s not the actual title of my position, it’s the mindset that I try to have in any position. You’re probably familiar with the term entrepreneur. “Intrapreneur” is similar. I like Gifford Pinchot’s definition: Intrapreneurs are “dreamers who do. Those who take hands-on responsibility for creating innovation of any kind, within a business.”

The first time I remember acting as an intrapreneur was in 2017. In collaboration with my colleagues, we launched an employee resource group (ERG) called Nielsen Generation, or N-GEN. N-GEN focuses on embracing the value of having different generations in the workplace and connecting the skill sets and needs of people across generations. When we decided to launch our chapter, there were already chapters in China and the U.S., but none with a cultural context similar to Mexico’s. So we created and executed a new strategy for this new ERG chapter. The group has since helped us to create more empathy for people in other generations. When we launched, I remember my manager at that time (a Gen Xer) always making jokes about how she thought Millennials were so entitled. But after understanding our messages and seeing our impact, she became the group’s No. 1 sponsor. Today, N-GEN has members in 50 countries across Nielsen.

This experience (among others) inspired me to learn more about innovation and how to develop new products and processes in other parts of Nielsen. This led to an opportunity for me to come to the office in Santiago, Chile, where we opened a center for innovation. Here, we scout for new businesses opportunities and develop process improvements with new technologies and strategic partners to increase our competitive value in the market. And so, being an intrapreneur became part of my day-to-day work.

When I arrived in Chile, I noticed that I was part of a larger migration. In two years, Chile had almost tripled its number of visas for new immigrants. The effect was being felt almost everywhere, and Nielsen was no exception. But as a company with operations in over 100 countries, Nielsen doesn’t tolerate discrimination of any kind. Maintaining an open culture of respect and diversity is critical for us.

However, we also know that maintaining a culture of diversity isn’t just about being open-minded and respectful. It’s about finding what we have in common and embracing our differences to build more innovative and diverse teams. And at Nielsen, we feel empowered to address social challenges. That’s why in June 2019 we launched the MOSAIC (Multinational Organization Supporting An Inclusive Culture) ERG in Chile. MOSAIC focuses on making multiculturalism part of our day-to-day lives and helping everyone recognize that we’re world citizens. We’re already seeing an impact: people are showing amazing empathy and a better understanding of different cultural contexts. Today, we are working with non-profit organizations, including Servicio Jesuita Migrante and Estudio Evoluciona, and diversity experts to build the biggest network of multicultural companies in Latin America and help the region be more diverse and inclusive.

No matter what your background is or the causes that you connect with, we’re empowered to make a difference. Nielsen supports intrapreneurship through different programs like ERGs, mentoring, innovation contests, investment funds and so many others. This allows anyone in the organization to contribute to the company’s development.

We can also shape our individual development, too. I have an actuarial science degree, and started my career at Nielsen in the statistics department. Now I’m in a completely different role, working with tech startups, venture capital groups and non-profit organizations. I love developing new abilities and passions like strategy, negotiation, and products. But I’m even more excited to see what’s next.