What Is Intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship is exactly what it sounds like: being an entrepreneur but inside an organisation. Intrapreneurs have all the character traits of a successful entrepreneur – self-motivation, creativity, and initiative – but instead of working for themselves, they work for you.
Employing an intrapreneur is a win-win-win.
- You give them the freedom to experiment within your organisation.
- They give you bright new ideas, products, and services.
- You give them the security of having a proper job and not losing their shirts if an idea fails.
- They give you the unbounded creativity of an innovator who’s free to create without fear.
When you officially give an employee the role of an intrapreneur, it’s called creating an intrapreneurship.
Intrapreneurships give employees the autonomy to find solutions you may not have thought of. It doesn’t just have to be about new products and services; you could ask your entrepreneur to research workflow charts and come up with a more efficient one for your brand within a particular target group. Or you could ask them to find a way to improve your company culture.
You probably already have potential intrapreneurs in your organisation. It’s not always easy to identify these bright sparks, but here are some clues:
- They’re self-starters, action-oriented and goal-oriented.
- They can solve problems on their own or have their own ideas to improve processes.
- They’re often ambitious.
- They may be risk-takers, looking for challenges and taking on tasks that are outside their job description.
Intrapreneurs have the leadership skills and outside-the-box thinking skills needed to solve specific business problems like reducing costs or boosting creativity. They’re ready and willing to step out of their comfort zone and risk failure while testing and refining their ideas.
They also have the market knowledge and big-picture awareness to interpret market trends and give you a vision of how your company needs to progress to stay one jump ahead of your competitors. They’re the driving force that creates your company’s roadmap to the future.
Intrapreneurships are of particular interest to the millennials, who are known for seeking meaning, autonomy and creativity at work. They want to grow their own projects while helping you grow your business.
Having said that, the recent pandemic has allowed many people to explore more flexible working options. Remote working comes hand in hand with increased autonomy and higher levels of personal responsibility. For many, this could potentially lead to a natural exploration of their intrapreneurial side.
It’s important to recognise employees who show an intrapreneurial spirit. If you don’t, you’re not only losing out on the ideas they can contribute, which could be vital to your success – you’re also likely to lose the employees themselves to your competitors.
If you retain these star employees and nurture their talents, they may well eventually leave anyway – but to start a business of their own, using the skills and knowledge they’ve learned during their time with you. This is no bad thing. It’s very satisfying to act as a springboard to launch someone as an entrepreneur and see them reap the rewards of their own hard work, instead of letting your competitors profit from it.
Also, remember that successful entrepreneurs are often asked where it all began and if the answer is with your organisation it puts you in a great position to be able to attract top talent in the future.
Contact the Marlin Selection team about finding highly driven, intuitive and motivated candidates for your next role.