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.
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.
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.
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.
Through their passion they keep others engaged and inspire others to join them in their change evangelism.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The intrapreneur plays a restorative role while the entrepreneur plays a developmental role.
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.