“Many millions of people proudly claim the title ‘entrepreneur.’ On the other hand, a title that hasn’t gotten nearly the amount of attention it deserves is entrepreneur’s little brother, ‘intrapreneur:’ an employee who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services and systems, who does not have to follow the company’s usual routines or protocols.’ While it’s true that every company needs an entrepreneur to get it under way, healthy growth requires a smattering of intrapreneurs who drive new projects and explore new and unexpected directions for business development.” Richard Branson.
Intrapreneur is a term that has been gaining so much attention in recent times. The word refers to an employee who manages and organises his work like an entrepreneur. Investopedia describes it as “acting like an entrepreneur within a larger organisation.” It is a combination of ‘intra’ or internal, and ‘entrepreneur’. Some people refer to them as ‘Corporate Entrepreneurs.’
A common feature that Intrapreneurs possess is entrepreneurial spirit! It is the driving force that makes them apply innovation to solving problems, taking risks, breaking bounds and in doing things differently. Gene Hammet explains that it is a mindset and it is about how managers and employees think to solve problems. According to a survey by Ernst & Young, “internal company entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs need specific characteristics in order to lead a rapidly growing organisation.” The behavioural pattern that is often associated with them is that they are:
Why Businesses Are Attracted to Intrapreneurs
More businesses in the 21st century will be drawn towards employing Intrapreneurs because of these characteristics for the following reasons:
Lisa Quast noted organisations are aware that generating innovative ideas will become more difficult as they grow in size and complexity, Intrapreneurs can effectively lead rapidly growing businesses by focusing on cultivating these important characteristics and skills mentioned earlier.
While Intrapreneurs may be best suited for rapidly growing organisations, they could be stifled and frustrated within large and well-established ones with rigid structures and bureaucracies. Such organisations will have to deliberately introduce and support entrepreneurship culture among its employees. There are ways of doing this, but that is different topic on its own.
Why You Must Become An Intrapreneur
Looking at the current instability in the Nigerian Labour Market, you would need to develop strategies to weather through the storms. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It calls for deep introspective thinking. You would need to take a personal inventory of your skill sets; where there is a gap, fill it up by going for training, internships or by learning on the job. You would also need to ask yourself if you are ‘creating value’ for your organisation. It was mentioned earlier that Intrapreneurs are assets, you must adopt their behaviour in order to survive. No matter how bad the economy becomes, organisations would not want to lay off their assets.
Here are 4 reasons you must become an Intrapreneur:
As an Intrapreneur, you will grow quickly in your career to assume leadership positions.
You will develop skills set that will distinguish you from others. Remember, you may be the only one willing to do certain kinds of work while others shy away from them. Never mind, as these skills will help you in future.
Intrapreneurs are usually the last to be laid off during harsh economic situations because they have a reputation of adding ‘value’ to their organisations.
They are quick to bounce back after trying times due to the skills set they have been able to develop over the years. Intrapreneurs hardly give up, they keep going until they find solutions to problems.
Knowledge Exchange Centre is offering a training on ‘Developing Intrapreneurship Skills’ on the 29th of March, 2016. Why not register to learn practical steps to unleash the Intrapreneur in you. We also runs regular courses which could help you develop the skills set required to become an Intrapreneur and to build successful careers.
To find out more, visit our website at www.knowledgeexchangecentre.org.