What is an Intrapreneur?

What is intrapreneurWho is the intrapreneur? Is the forward- thinking employee within every organization that is constantly seeking ways to optimize resources and innovate existing processes for maximum impact and return.

According to Neal Thornberry in his recent book, Lead Like an Entrepreneur , internal entrepreneurs or corporate intrapreneurs can help businesses identify and create new growth-oriented business opportunities or leverage existing processes for maximum return.

As we all know sustained competitive advantage comes from using internal strengths to exploit opportunities and neutralize threats. An often untapped strength is the perspective that comes from an employee’s experience and insight. In many organizations this creative energy often goes unrealized. Organizations that encourage employees to explore innovation by recognizing risk-taking are realizing new potential while developing new leaders within their ranks.

How to Turn an Employee Into an Intrapreneur?

If you want to encourage intrapreneurship, Thornberry says you should create supporting sub-structures for intrapreneurial activities including a recognition platform that celebrates both success and attempts (including failed efforts) to innovate.

Doing so builds momentum and encourages engagement. Companies that recognize innovative initiative have found that efforts to promote and recognize intrapreneurs have inspired and motivated others to pioneer as well.

  • Encourage risk-taking and show high tolerance for failures. Usually, organizations are not so open to failures and offer little to no support when it occurs.  Change the way things work on till now. Do the best to let your intrapreneurs know that failing is just experimentation and keeping up the work is what they have to do.
  • Reward intrapreneurial initiative. Nothing motivate better than recognition. Showing recognition in front of others employees will send a strong signal that innovation is greatly appreciated and rewarded.
  • Offer access to data. An intrapreneur needs fast access to information in order to be effective. Don’t make getting some organizational information a headache. You will be surprised how lucrative this can be.
  • Do I need to mention about stamping out bureaucracy?  Yeah, the faster you do it, the more encouraging and productive environment you are building.

Are you an intrapreneur? Do let us know your thoughts of how intrapreneurship can benefits companies and whether you actual employer encourages it or not.

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