Leading recruitment firm Micheal Page ranked 'intrapreneurship' the No 1. 'in demand' skill of 2020 but what is it really and how can it help businesses to expand?
Having experienced life as a professional career person, as an entrepreneur and as a consultant for plethora of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 brands, I have seen first hand the positive impact that intrapreneurship can have on a business. I would even go as far as to suggest that during/post crisis this key skill will be more important than ever! The point of difference for many employees will be how they add value to the business.
A person makes themselves indispensable if they are able to add value and demonstrate added value for the employer. This value proposition comes from seeking out problems and providing solutions i.e. having that entrepreneurial mindset. It also comes from them treating their job, duties and responsibilities with the care and tenacity as if it were their own business. This topic caters to the needs of the organisation and is a much needed skill set across the career life cycle. I love delivering sessions on this topic because it helps individuals to understands the importance of their brand story, innovation, mindset and brand equity - in addition to how this could improve the brands they work for. It is what I call a perfect union.
Intrapreneurs are employees who act like entrepreneurs, however whilst working within a company. What makes an intrapreneur stand out is that they are innovative, usually coming up with new ideas and taking the role of a leader. Intrapreneurs are able to utilise existing resources and foundations available in their company to create new ideas that may be implemented into the company which could lead to company growth.
The idea of intrapreneurship is interesting to many as it provides people with the stability of a job with the freedom of an entrepreneurial experience, at the same time. Let’s compare it to entrepreneurship: entrepreneurs are faced with uncertainty as the founder manages many aspects, if not all, for their business to grow. This can become overwhelming as individuals have the pressure of managing their business successfully, especially if it is the only source of income they rely on. Further uncertainty is created if the entrepreneur does not have access to the tools and resources needed to expand on their business, which leads to them falling behind and could have a huge impact on them financially.
So, this is where intrapreneurship comes in and could be argued as the perfect blended opportunity.
Why is that?
Well an intrapreneur can be comfortable in their position as they are employed in a company, therefore they are guaranteed to be paid. Also, intrapreneurs are able to have access to the tools and resources provided by their company, allowing them to completely focus on their vision and ideas and work towards bringing them to life with far less perceived risk.
Does intrapreneurship sound interesting now?
Intrapreneurs are also seen as the future of business as they create change. This is because as intrapreneurs are comfortable in their working position, they can be more innovative and act as change agents which can have a huge impact on the business as the business may advance to new levels. As well as actively creating change in their business, they can also become a model for change which will inspire other collegues or companies to follow in the similar footsteps.
For change to occur, there also has to be an element of risk involved. Risk is a factor that many companies are afraid to adopt as they are unaware of the consequences and the risks posed if they were to try something new. This is where intrapreneurs come in and are changing the future of businesses, as they create a culture that is not afraid to take 'considered' risk, as this provides the company with the ability to grow.
So, overall intrapreneurs are leaders. By being able to take risk and enforce change, they can successfully encourage other, thus improving the organisational culture and bottom line. However, they differ as they think and act differently by adopting different motivations and aspirations which then leads to them wanting to work in different working environments. They understand what it takes to adapt to a working environment that is constantly changing. They go against the traditional organisational set up of a workplace and bring innovation, growth, leadership and the unknown to the table.
With these ideas in mind, now think about a workplace that has thriving, innovative intrapreneurs, can you see it working? The combination of their ideas, inputs and decisions could lead to the company becoming one of the most powerful. The company would continuously grow as there would be innovative ideas coming forward to ensure the company keeps growing and coming up with the next ‘big’ thing. So, are intrapreneurs the future of business? Will we see more companies hire intrapreneurs to lead and change the working world? Will you adopt your inner entrepreneur and become an intrapreneur in your field?
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