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What is an ‘intrapreneur’ and why are they crucial in your business?

Posted on 27/02/2015, 16:35

What is Intrapreneurship? By definition, it is is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization but it is also a crucial part of running a small business.

First we’ll look at what kind of environment will enable intrapreneurs to flourish and create value, and second, how can individuals develop and be recognised as an intrepreneur?

Here are 4 enablers to create an environment of intrapreneurship:

Reward the behaviour you seek –

Simply put: reward team behaviour if you want team behaviour. If you want innovative ideas, reward the idea and the successful implementation of the idea. It is crucial to create an environment that allows for autonomy, mastery and purpose – the 3 main drivers for motivation

Make it OK for people to take risks –

Risk taking can seem quite scary for many businesses as it means allowing people to make mistakes. However, many innovative ideas are by their very nature risky but equally they can also deliver a greater benefit when successful. Striking the balance between prohibiting reckless risk and dampening intrapreneur spirit can be tricky but is necessary for success.

Give people ownership –

Create an open and accountable environment where intrapreneurs can make things happen their way whilst you maintain control over content and processes. This may mean having appropriate reporting and support mechanisms in place so that some degree of monitoring and assessment can take place.

Promote transparency across the business –

Make it very clear what your  business goals are, where the focus for growth and development is and how innovation is a crucial part of the future of the business.

How to develop as an intrapreneur

What can a budding intrapreneur do to create value, make an impact and be recognised for their contribution?

Understand their strengths and weaknesses –

Make sure you know their strengths and where they have skill or knowledge gaps. Be able and willing to acknowledge these strengths and gaps in order to seek out complementary skills and knowledge to make an idea better and/or to bring an idea to fruition.

Create their brand –

Your business has a brand that drives its place in the market and what it stands for. It is also what attracts customers to your business. Encouraging them to have a personal brand can have the same benefit for an intrapreneur. As someone becomes well known for certain things, or ways of getting things done, they too become attractive and recognisable.

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