Tag - innovation

Intrapreneurship Concept: How To Save Your Business Now

Several businesses got into a rut but something came along and saved them. You ask what? It’s the Intrapreneurship Concept.

What’s the Intrapreneurship Concept?

Gifford Pinchot III, an author coined the intrapreneurship concept in the late 1970’s.

Pinchot opined that intrapreneurship was the merging of an entrepreneurial spirit with the resources of a large corporation.

Intrapreneurship concept involves creating a new and self-funded organisation within the auspices of an existing company.

It involves creating or discovering new ideas, methods or opportunities for the purpose of creating value.

Trust me to always break things down for you. Intrapreneurship is simply an entrepreneurial venture by an employee within an entrepreneurship.

Simply a start-up within a start-up. Also known as employee entrepreneurship.

If you are an employee in a large organization with entrepreneurial tendencies but don’t want to leave the safety net your job provides then by all means introduce the intrapreneurship concept to your managers.

Intrapreneurs enhance existing products/ services and methods or create new streams of income for the company.

They are brought in to solve existing or envisaged problems.

Intrapreneurship Concept

These are people that just can’t wait to bring their ideas to life. They change corporations from within.

Probably you have the qualities of an entrepreneur but you feel fear and lack the finance.

Don’t fret the intrapreneurship concept is for you.

Intrapreneurship is an incubator and catalyst for innovation especially in large organisations.

It takes away bureaucracy thereby speeding up growth and productivity.

Most employees are too scared to take risks but intrapreneurs are employees on steroids.

Unlike an entrepreneur the intrapreneur doesn’t bear the cost if there’s a loss in the venture.

An entrepreneur may not be able to foot his bills while starting out but an intrapreneur still gets his salary.

He is a visionary and spots successful trends before anyone else.

Intrapreneurship concept

Intrapreneur analyzing trends

Hence the backbone of any successful company is the intrapreneurship concept practised within it.

Therefore they should be encouraged and compensated adequately for their contributions.

As a business owner you should encourage your employees that exhibit entrepreneurial traits.

Have them become Intrapreneurs. For the greater good of your business.

This shouldn’t scare you thinking they are the only ones benefitting from this.

Intrapreneurship Concept

Fun boardroom

Your organization will own whatever innovation they come up with while with you.

But always remember they are self driven so don’t be in their space.

Therefore if your business is in an innovation rut just opt in to the intrapreneurship concept.

Be well aware that boredom will become a thing of the past for your employees.

Because there’s always a new project to look forward to.

As an employer you are sitting on a goldmine of ideas; use it.

Businesses are now keying into this phenomenon. Such as Deloitte, GFK, Accenture, Ashoka, Barclays, 3M, AT&T, DuPont, Google, Sony and even Toyota.

Google allows its technical employees spend up to 20 percent of their time on projects of their choice. This freedom is called “license to pursue your dreams”.

That’s how Marissa Mayer, one-time VP of Google’s search products described it in the Fast Company magazine.

Characteristics of An Intrapreneur

• Result Driven and Passionate

Intrapreneurs are self driven to achieve desired results in all they set out to do. Hence they are very focused when on a task.

Other people give up when they encounter roadblocks but due to passion an intrapreneur keeps pushing.
This helps them survive unnecessary criticism and skepticism.

Intrapreneurship Concept

Passion

Through their passion they keep others engaged and inspire others to join them in their change evangelism.

• Pivot

They know when (the right time) and how to pivot.

Intrapreneurs know to change their business strategy when it’s not working. As well as the right time to do it before incurring too much loss.

Steve Jobs pivoted Apple from confusion to a high flying consumer electronics range company.

They aren’t afraid to admit a course isn’t going as planned nor do they fear to change course when it’s not working.

• Entrepreneurial Spirit

An intrapreneur just like the entrepreneur isn’t afraid to take calculated risks. Certainly he’s always willing without fear.

This spirit also encompasses the ability to think visually and ahead as well as brainstorm.

Intrapreneurs are quite tenacious even in the face of failure. They are very confident which could be confused with cockiness atimes.

• Diplomatic and Ethical

Due to the nature of Intrapreneurship, employee entrepreneurs ought to be diplomatic and ethical.

They come in to boycott bureaucracy hence they know how to avoid clashing with anyone especially in authority.

And Intrapreneurs are quite ethical in manner; setting aside personal emotions to do right.

• Creative and Innovative

Creativity gives them the ability to see things differently. They see the potentials others don’t.

It allows intrapreneurs to patiently toil with ideas and hone them into fully developed plans.

Also known as ‘greenhousing’, just like the greenhousing concept in gardening.

Intrapreneurs greenhouse ideas that every other person seems too busy or discouraged to carry on with.

• Resourceful

They know where and how to get resources. Whether it’s a network or individuals with the right skill sets and tools.

Intrapreneurs know the value of their network and resourcefulness whilst they use it appropriately.

They know how to efficiently use the resources at their disposal and find resources without having to pay for them.

• Spot trends and Adaptable

Intrapreneurs spot trends early on before anyone.

They are quite intuitive, able to identify the tiny signals that others miss or choose to ignore.

While others discard little occurrences that can cause disruptions in a market or industry, intrapreneurs pay attention and keep records.

Trend analysis

And when these disruptions happen Intrapreneurs are quick to adapt like fish takes to water.

Because they are quick responders and flexible.

• Provide Value

Intrapreneurs always add value to the organization.

They know they are an investment hence they strive to impact their colleagues and the organization as a whole.

Always empowering themselves and their colleagues for the growth of the business.

• Mentors

Mentoring is a form of training, influence and knowledge sharing.

Intrapreneurs always look out for mentors who can influence their creativity and are great mentors as well.

They are always willing to share their knowledge with others.

Organizations see exponential increase in their creativity and productivity with mentorship.

• Apt Learners

Intrapreneurs are fast learners who are always learning.

Whether it’s for personal or professional reasons, they always strive to better their creative and productive ability.

They always pick valuable lessons from every situation. The more they learn, the better they perform.

Objectives of Intrapreneurship Concept

• Innovation

Innovation is the key ingredient for progressive growth in any organization.

Corporations are fond of not innovating or innovating once a year. This can’t sustain the business’s growth.

Intrapreneurs constantly turn the wheels of innovation.

Therefore the presence of the right people, processes and environment will encourage the rise of Intrapreneurs.

Intrapreneurship, innovation and growth are all entwined for your business to be successful.

If you are asking how’s your business to grow then intrapreneurship is the answer.

Since intrapreneurship entails having the entrepreneurial mindset and right infrastructures, it’s a framework for transformation hence growth.

• Leadership

Intrapreneurs think and act differently. Due to having different motivations and aspirations from the normal staff they prefer working in different environments.

This differentiation qualifies them to lead new growth initiatives.
Intrapreneurship is the best way to attract and retain your most
entrepreneurial staff.

• Change

Intrapreneurs are change advocates. Blazing new trails and being the change they wish to see.

They not only drive change they also model change so others can learn from them the change they propose.

Intrapreneurship helps organizations to accelerate and manage change efficiently.

• Engagement

With intrapreneurship, employees are certain they will always have work that is challenging, meaningful and interesting to them.

Studies have shown that businesses lose significant amount of money annually due to workers not being engaged with work.

Due to passion + determination which is = grit; intrapreneurs are highly engaged in their work.

Furthermore engaging and inspiring other workers to get involved in new things.

This is a recipe for their growth and the organization’s as well.

Intrapreneurs have a lot in common with entrepreneurs.

They take initiative and calculated risks.

And they’re innovative, creative as well as problem solvers. Also tenacious and don’t give up.

Despite the similarities they also have differences.

• Risk

This is the biggest difference between an intrapreneur and entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is solely responsible for the projects, including all financial risks related to it.

Entrepreneurs willingly sign up for unlimited risk or boundless reward.

While the intrapreneurs get funds from the organisations to avoid financial risk.

Thence they are not entitled to the huge financial gains.

Intrapreneurs aren’t deterred by risk so they take more risk than the average employee.

But these risks are significantly smaller than an entrepreneur’s.

Because entrepreneurs risk losing their businesses if everything goes south.

• Ownership

Another clear difference is ownership. Studies show that entrepreneurs have a distinct ownership of their concept and business.

Meanwhile an intrapreneur’s ideas are owned by the company.

Also an intrapreneur doesn’t have the full independence to make certain decisions despite being autonomous.

It’s common knowledge that some companies don’t give their Intrapreneurs recognition for their concepts and ideas.

Nor do they have equity in the company.

• Culture

Entrepreneurs build their company’s culture from scratch while intrapreneurs have to deal with navigating through longstanding beliefs and policies.

Intrapreneurship compliant companies are building a culture that encourages intrapreneurship among its staff.

Organizations are gaining awareness of the benefits of intrapreneurs hence are working towards creating a work space that encourages it.

• Motivation

Another difference is what drives the individual.

Both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are motivated to make an impact on businesses and organisations. But in various ways.

An entrepreneur is motivated by things such as money, personal achievement or fulfilling a lifelong dream.

But the primary motivation of an intrapreneur is either financial stability, love of the job or making a difference within the organization.

• Resources

Intrapreneurs have access to the organization’s resources.

Such as funds, production setups, marketing network and every other support needed.

Meanwhile an entrepreneur has to use his own funds or borrow funds and do the legwork for his own resources.

• Context of Operation

The intrapreneur makes decisions under the auspices of an existing organization.

Most organizations demand that the intrapreneur ask for permission before attempting to create or change anything.

Meanwhile an entrepreneur can make decisions most of the time without seeking anyone’s consent.

Rather he might just ask for advice from the concerned professionals in order to make informed decisions.

Likewise the intrapreneur is the internal revolutionary.

Always questioning the status quo and fighting to change the system from within.

• Focus

The scope of an intrapreneur is narrow while that of an entrepreneur is quite broad.

An intrapreneur is focused on a section of the business.

Creating either a new product, service, method or policy within the organization. And making old processes better.

While the entrepreneur is focussed on the entire business. Because he envisages for the organization.

• Role

The intrapreneur plays a restorative role while the entrepreneur plays a developmental role.

In Conclusion

Intrapreneurship centres on innovation and creativity.

It creates/ transforms an idea into a moneymaking venture while within an organization’s environment.

Also entails following the culture, goals and objectives of the organisation.

Intrapreneurship is used to encourage and motivate employees to behave as internal entrepreneurs.

While knowing they have the resources, funds and security of the larger organisation to lean on.

It helps staff to continually try things until successful, learn from failures and manage funds.

It increases the potential and value of a stagnant business without holding the staff accountable for failure.

Now you see why it’s the entrepreneur’s saviour?

Is there anything we forgot to mention about the intrapreneurship concept? Kindly drop by the comments section.

Innovative entrepreneurship

The Ultimate Guide To Innovative Entrepreneurship

The word innovative entrepreneurship has become a cliché but we can’t stop talking about it.

Sounds like an irony, right?

Have you ever wondered what’s Innovative Entrepreneurship?

Are you one?

Do you know the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship?

Let’s start with what innovation is.

To innovate simply means to introduce new ideas, products or methods of doing things.

Therefore innovative entrepreneurship is when new ideas, products or new ways of doing things are introduced into a business.

Subsequently for efficiency and increase in productivity.

In other words it means provision of solutions.

Additionally it provides an entirely new solution as never been seen or improving on old solutions to achieve better results than previously.

For example a bluetooth earpiece that automatically increases volume when it’s moved closer to the device.

Or decreases the volume of a device when it’s moved farther from the device. (Assuming someone hasn’t done this already).

Likewise innovation in entrepreneurship is a tool to become highly competitive not a destination.

Innovation in Entrepreneurship

You are probably wondering what’s the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship.

We will get to that in a minute.

But briefly innovation is the wheel that propels entrepreneurship.

Another question is are all entrepreneurs innovative?

Here are some characteristics of innovative entrepreneurship:

  • Enhances

Significantly the performance of what it’s used with/ for is increased. It adds value.

It enhances the performance of a product, company or industry. Imagine life without Google search or Apple.

  • Disrupts

Disruptive innovation causes a dramatic turn in products, methods or services.

They raise the bar and metamorphose existing markets or establish new ones. It’s also a catalyst.

  • Eliminates

An innovation eliminates the old method of doing things or the old product once it catches on. If not totally then almost totally.

For instance the first IBM personal computer made.

  • Opportunistic

An innovation recognises the gaps in the market/ industry and fills it.

To emphasize it identifies what’s lacking and modifies it. Sees the gaps as opportunities and grabs it.

  • Advantageous

An innovation is always an improvement upon the existing one (always at an advantage).

Example is the advantages of the Whatsapp messenger over the traditional SMS.

  • Compatible

All innovations seamlessly fit within the sector they are meant for.

For example Instagram works perfectly for professionals in the Arts and Entertainment Industry.

  • Observable

An innovation is easily and readily observable to the user. The innovator makes it so to encourage adoption from early users.

Notably early users are known to evangelize for an innovation. Else what’s an innovation without adaptors.

Innovative entrepreneurship

Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Now that you can identify innovation who’s an innovative entrepreneur? And do you think all entrepreneurs are innovative?

There are no sufficient words to define an innovative entrepreneur.

Rather I will cite some characteristics of innovative entrepreneurs:

  • Visionary

An innovative entrepreneur sees things that most people don’t.

Even when others say it won’t work; they don’t give up.

  • Risk Takers

They venture into things that have never been done not minding the outcome. They are well aware of the risks but still go ahead.

  • Don’t Have A Box

Great minds think out of the box; innovative entrepreneurs don’t even have a box.

  • Education or Training

Very versed in their craft.

They acquire formal/ informal training to enable the separation of relevant and irrelevant information while creating/ developing.

  • Patience

An innovative entrepreneur doesn’t mind how long it takes. He will keep testing his innovation.

His end goal is to ensure the innovation does what it’s meant for effectively.

Hence several trials. There’s never a finished product. Improvements will always be made.

  • Proactive and Persistent

They create or control situations; they don’t react. Thus they exploit opportunities.

  • Prudent

Despite being risk takers innovative entrepreneurs are more careful and organized.

Everything is well accounted for and documented.

Innovative entrepreneurship

An Innovative Entrepreneur

Thus this leads us to the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship. And the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship.

Innovative Entrepreneurship:  Relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship relies on innovation for sustainability.

A simple way to look at the relationship is entrepreneurship needs innovation just like we need air.

Innovation is seeing what is needed and creating it. In essence infusing something new or improvements with the old.

It could be an idea, product, model, method or a service.

While entrepreneurship entails turning a great idea into a business opportunity.

Understanding this simple analysis helps us understand better the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship.

Which is imbuing new/ better ideas, products, services, methods or process into a business to give it an edge. An extra shot at sustainability and profitability.

Entrepreneurship begins with innovation and survives on innovation.

While innovation feeds on creativity and unbelievable thinking.

To innovate doesn’t always mean
inventing something new.

It could also mean changing and adding values to an existing idea, product, method or a service.

Everything above leads to the crux of this post. Which is the role of innovation in entrepreneurship.

Why is innovation so important to entrepreneurship?

  • Agent of Change

Innovation sees the problems in entrepreneurship and solves them. It changes the game.

  • Increases Competition

Due to the improvement innovation provides there’s an increase in competition between entrepreneurs.

To provide what exactly solves the customer’s problems.

  • Increases Efficiency and Profitability

Innovation is synonymous with increase in efficiency hence increase in profits.

  • Increases Opportunities

Innovation leads to discoveries which create opportunities. Thereby allowing more people gain entry into the industry.

  • Sustainability

Furthermore innovation ensures continuity and sustainability.

  • Restores Growth

With innovation comes growth. Growth of the business and market.

  • Identity

Being creative creates an identity for the entrepreneur and the organisation.

Conclusion

In summary innovation isn’t necessarily making something new. It could also mean adding something new to an already existing product, service or process.

Simply to make it more efficient thereby increasing productivity and in turn increase profitability.

Consequently innovation is what gives you an edge over your competition as an entrepreneur.

Not all business people are entrepreneurs. But when you become innovative then you become an entrepreneur.

Innovative entrepreneurs challenge problems and they draw inspiration from different ideas to solve a problem.

In conclusion they continually observe and ask thought provoking questions. Which results into what the world sees.

Do you have more information on innovation in entrepreneurship? Feel free to comment.

SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR

21 Attributes of Every Successful Entrepreneur

Do you want to be a Successful Entrepreneur?

If your answer is “YES” I salute you.

An entrepreneur is not your everyday business man that just buys and sells rather an entrepreneur is someone that is a risk taker, innovative and determined. He comes up with business ideas as never seen or done and thinks of innovative ideas to refurbish an existing business. Check Wikipedia’s definition of an entrepreneur or as defined by Investopedia.

The end game is not to be an entrepreneur but a successful entrepreneur and for this you must be ready to bear a lot of risks, perform a lot of roles and accept a lot of negative feedback because a lot of people will not encourage you when you pitch your ideas to them. They are not denying you a chance they just need you to grab their attention with what you do.

Therefore to succeed as an entrepreneur there are certain attributes you need to possess and develop. Every aspiring successful entrepreneur should have these in common with the established ones:

  • Passion.

Do what you love most. This point cannot be over emphasized; it is quite important because when push comes to shove it is your passion for what you do that will ensure you hang in there to the very end.

  • The “Can-do Spirit”.

No matter what happens you need to keep saying to yourself “I can do it too” because things will happen to discourage and distract you; dissatisfied customers, no cash flow, low sales, no sales period, resignation of key staff etc. The continuity of your business depends on if you keep moving ahead despite all odds.

  • Innovation (Creative Thinking).

You need to have a constant flow of ideas. Always ask “What next? Why this? What if?” It is the innovation that drives you and eventually makes you a successful entrepreneur.

  • Focus.

No matter what is going on you must be able to focus on achieving results. It is essential to focus on one thing at a time to achieve the best results and save time before moving on to something else.

  • Ability to Delegate.

Delegation is not just about dishing out work and projects to someone else but you need to possess the ability to delegate assignments to the person with the best ability to achieve the best results else you will waste time redoing what the incompetent person did.

  • Risk Taking.

As an entrepreneur you need to take calculated risks, be able to identify when to take risks, when not to, what risks to take and not take. Taking the wrong risks can harm your business like wise taking it at the wrong time. Apply the Best/Worst Case Analysis by Dr. Ben Carson in his book Take the Risk. It entails asking 4 questions before you take any risk.

  1. What is the best that can happen if I take this risk?
  2. What is the worst that can happen if I take this risk?
  3. What is the best that can happen if I do not take this risk?
  4. What is the worst that can happen if I do not take this risk?

Answering these questions will help you decide if or not to take any risk.

  • Confidence.

Your level of confidence in yourself and what you do should be at an all-time high. People see your business through your eyes. If you do not see where your business is going no one will.

  • Goals.

The road-map of any successful entrepreneur. Set goals for yourself and the business, write them down, break them down and focus on achieving them one at a time.

  • Ability to Plan.

This cannot be overemphasized. As an entrepreneur planning everything is of the essence. Plans and Goals work hand in hand. To achieve your goals you need to plan accordingly because if you fail to plan you plan to fail.

  • Never Afraid to Fail.

Failure is what pushes every entrepreneur to succeed. Never give up after you experience any failure because failures are part of the process to succeed. Failure opens your eyes to what will not work which eventually leads you to what will work. Ask Thomas Edison.

  • Add Value.

In any niche you find yourself endeavor not to think of get-rich quick schemes rather think of how to add value; solve problems. This ensures people keep coming back for what you offer.

  • Work Smart and Work Hard.

As an entrepreneur you need smart work (Scheduling and Focus) and hard work (Persistence against all odds).

  • Expertise.

Become an expert in whatever you do and people will seek you out. This generates repeat business for you thereby making you a successful entrepreneur.

  • Invest in Yourself.

As an entrepreneur understand that education is never ending. Keep reading, attending courses, seminars and ask questions. This increases your know-how thereby making you add value.

  • Trust.

Build people’s trust for you and your business by being consistent and maintain a great reputation.

  • Adaptability.

Whether you decide to Pivot or Persevere you must be flexible and be able to adapt to the needed changes for your business to grow.

  • Competitive.

You should have the competitive drive to succeed as an entrepreneur because you will have competition in whatever niche you find yourself. Even if your business is so unique others will join you in that niche to compete with you. At every given time take into account what your competition is doing that makes them tick likewise know their mistakes and failures so you do not repeat same.

  • Time management.

This is a key factor in being a successful entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur you find yourself wearing many hats (performing many roles). You need to have the ability to effectively manage time by doing the most important things first.

  • Discipline.

Successful entrepreneurs are a product of the training they gave their minds. They know where their business is going and they go all out to take it there. A mind that has not been trained to succeed cannot succeed. A disciplined mind does not throw in the towel after a setback neither does it entertain negativity.

  • Determination.

The will to succeed even when discouraged. As an entrepreneur you will face so many challenges beyond your control; unfavorable government policies, economic downturn, competitors that play dirty etc. it is your will to succeed that will keep you going.

  • Giving.

Do not just take, take and take also give. Give your time, money, advice and whatever you can to the community and smaller businesses alike.

If you feel you do not naturally possess most of these attributes do not fret because you can always learn them. Learning only stops when we die.

If there is an important attribute a successful entrepreneur should possess that I left out do feel free to comment. I respond to all comments and learn as well.