How to Help Them Reach Their Potential
Harry Isenstein Newcastle 26/10/18
Entrepreneurs Society, Newcastle University
In business schools around the world we are often taught that there is a separation between entrepreneurs and fully-established companies.
But what if there were a middle ground that could elevate both parts and take businesses to a whole other level?
This is intrapreneurship: when employees act as entrepreneurs within a company. Companies can benefit from the creativity and innovation of its entrepreneurs-in-hiding, by providing them with the financial backing and resource allocation they need to get their ideas off the ground.
As defined by Gifford Pinchot III, intrapreneurship is "dreamers who do. Those who take hands-on responsibility for creating innovation of any kind, within a business”.
So, how can businesses seek intrapreneurs and benefit from what they have to offer?
Intrapreneurs have specific qualities and attributes. The main one being the ability to analyse the current way of doing things and challenge it.
This could come in the form of small ideas, such as the way in which meetings are conducted, or bigger ones, for instance projects that expand a company’s reach into new markets, by seeing further potential in a product.
Intrapreneurs are ambitious individuals and they’ll go wherever they can find financial and resource support.
Companies need to provide these if they want to keep their intrapreneurs and benefit from them in the long-term.
Intrapreneurs are also able to adapt quickly to change and more likely to take risks. This can come in the form of pushing themselves, reacting positively to feedback and criticism, reflecting, adapting the process and going again.
Similarly to entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs are always required to be resilient in their attempts because of the setbacks they will face in carrying out their own projects and in seeing their ideas come to life.
It is also important for companies to identify those, who are willing take risks and who can adapt quickly, even when they are not the most creative. These individuals may be the exact people intrapreneurs want to work with, adding value to their work and elevating the company even further.
For intrapreneurship to bring success to a company, it requires a combination of ambition and trust in the ideas of its employees. By creating an open culture where change is welcomed, encouraged and supported the intrapreneurs within a company will come forward with new ideas, rather than going elsewhere.
This is why it is vital for a company to be able to identify these individuals, helping them fulfill their potential, while providing the most value to the business.
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