The traditional workplace continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Job roles have become dynamic, and there is a need to be agile and innovative. Top performers need to do more than the status quo to get ahead and move their career forward.
Companies want candidates who are leaders, willing to take calculated risks, think outside the box, and have a drive to succeed. They want people who embody the entrepreneurial spirit, but apply it within the organization. They want intrapreneurs.
Here we’ll explain the concept of intrapreneurship, the advantages of taking on this style of work and provide tips to help you become an intrapreneur.
what is an intrapreneur?
An intrapreneur is an employee with an entrepreneur’s mindset. They take an innovative and creative approach to their role, manage special projects, and look for growth opportunities using less traditional strategies and tactics. They have a bigger vision than outlined in their job description and are focused on the bigger picture.
An intrapreneur can be a manager or employee who introduces new products, processes, and strategies that are in alignment with the organization’s overall objectives.
intrapreneur vs. entrepreneur: what’s the difference?
An intrapreneur and entrepreneur share a common approach to how they work. They are focused on creativity and innovation, but they have a few differences. An entrepreneur is focused on building a business, usually their business, from scratch; whereas, an intrapreneur is focused on helping improve the organization from within. An intrapreneur is an employee, manager or key stakeholder within the organization.
benefits of being an intrapreneur
Taking on an intrapreneur role will have a positive effect on your career. Intrapreneurship benefits include:
- more stability and resources than entrepreneurship: Do you think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Have visions of owning a business? Being an intrapreneur provides you with the opportunity to see if entrepreneurship is the right fit for you without the risks of leaving your job, investing your own money, and starting from the ground up. You can test the waters with a safety net while having access to more resources and a larger platform.
- shape strategic direction: We all want to have input. Taking on an intrapreneurial approach gives you the opportunity to shape strategic direction at an established company. People will be more willing to listen to your ideas, and you will be able to have a greater impact on the direction of the organization.
- find your individual motivation: Taking on a more dynamic role and looking for new and creative ways to get more out of your current role can help you find your personal motivation. You can identify what drives you to succeed, and also what doesn’t. It can help you shape your career direction.
- win-win for you and your employer: The biggest benefit of intrapreneurship is everyone wins. Your employer wins because they have an employee who is focused on innovation, has motivation to help the company grow and create new opportunities. You, as an employee, win because you’ll embody the traits and characteristics companies look for in top performers. You’ll show the ambition they want in future leaders. Being innovative will open the door for new opportunities internally and externally. It will build your resume and help you establish yourself as a top talent in your industry.
how can you become an intrapreneur?
Most companies don’t have a defined intrapeneurship program. However, many are open to the idea and they are becoming more common. Even in absence of a formal process, there are things you can do within your current role to become an intrapreneur. It’s not as much about the job title but how you approach it. Here are some tips to help you become an intrapreneur:
- be passionate about your company and work: When you love what you do, it will be reflected in your work. Passion is contagious. If you have an idea you feel strongly about, advocate for it. People are more willing to listen when you are passionate about an idea you champion.
- keep an open mind: There are many ways to do things. Keep an open mind about how you approach your work. Think about how you can become more effective and efficient.
- challenge the status quo: Just because it’s the way it’s always been done doesn’t mean you can’t think of new ways to do it. If you have a new idea to improve a process or strategy, propose it to leadership.
- take risks and innovate: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Take calculated risks. Propose new ideas and think about new ways to do things. Sure, some ideas will get rejected, but leadership will take notice.
- problem-solve rather than focus on tasks: Intrapreneurs are focused on finding ways to improve, not completing tasks on a checklist. Yes, all jobs have tasks that need to be completed, but solving important company issues, seeing the bigger picture, and removing obstacles will help your company on a larger scale.
- lead rather than command: Show people the way, don’t command them to follow you. Intrapreneurs lead by example, take initiative, welcome change, and drive results. Be collaborative, welcome multiple perspectives, and get the team involved.
Becoming an intrapreneur can help you create career opportunities without the risk of entrepreneurship and without having to leave your current role. You can have a greater impact while creating a win-win scenario for you and your company. Think about how you can be more creative and innovative. It could change your current role and your career path.