John McGrath

CEO of American Collegiate Acquisitions (ACA)

Category: Intrapreneur

95cdfeef

How to Identify Intrapreneurs Within Your Company

An intrapreneur is the manager or employee who recognizes problems as opportunities to advance and improve the company from the inside out. They function as leaders who challenge processes and invigorate ideas. Intrapreneurs often drive progress within a company’s infrastructure without direct guidance from management. With an entrepreneur’s spirit, an inventor’s capacity to solve complex problems, and a passion for adjusting operational systems, intrapreneurs are most likely working for you, but would you know how to identify them?

Intrapreneurs are indispensable investments for your organization. Identify them early and ensure they have the room and resources to thrive and help your company grow.

You can identify successful intrapreneurs in your company using these common traits:

Total commitment

Being a highly successful intrapreneur is a full-time responsibility. The intrapreneur’s mind is constantly working and challenging the status quo. They are architects of new ideas, new plans and better methods. The intrapreneur sees the world through the lens of the administrative and financial operations of the business and relates everyday decisions into growing and improving the company. They often listen and learn from entrepreneurs, typically the CEO and/or president, incorporating their knowledge to create plans for internal improvement.

Adaptability

Intrapreneurs function well in a start-up industry because of their ability to thrive in a changing environment. They are excellent at observing, reflecting, accepting, and then adapting. They often create solutions from a new starting point. They welcome growing pains. It’s often said that the squeaky wheel gets the grease; intrapreneurs are those who grease the wheels without always looking for praise.

Internally motivated

Though intrapreneurs appreciate the value and importance of return on investment, they generally are not solely driven by profit. They typically are motivated by how they can contribute to further the overall success of their company. Intrapreneurs typically initiate meaningful innovations within their departments before expecting or requesting a raise.

Confidence

One of the most, if not the most, important element in business is the possession of confidence. Self doubt weighs heavily on an individual’s confidence and ability to creatively perform, think and act — which progressively deteriorates corporate profitability. Having a high level of confidence is critically important. Confidence is a state of mind and a state of being. Positive thinking and engagement with like-minded people is central to the dynamic creation and execution of successful business plans which promotes attractive returns on investment.

The anchor

Intrapreneurs are generally even-tempered. When a company is in change, intrapreneurs keep a level head. Employees tend to follow an executive with a consistent and balanced temperament compared to an inconsistent or negative attitude. Effective management encourages creative minds to seek solutions during tough organizational challenges.

The straight shooter

Honesty and transparency are central to creating and maintaining a successful intrapreneurial corporate culture. Intrapreneurial chief executive officers should:

  • Create a culture of innovation and dynamic leadership.
  • Create a culture of integrity and compliance.
  • Advocate for a culture of shared vision and teamwork.
  • Advocate a core value system to have courage, determination and a contagious spirit to do what is right, regardless of the difficulties or consequences.

The mirror effect

The best way to ensure your company will attract the intrapreneurial spirit is to foster creativity in your company culture. Many entrepreneurs are (or were) intrapreneurs. Entrepreneurs often have the ability to identify mirror images of themselves and make room for advancing those employees to help the company succeed. The creation of intrapreneurial spirit could be exactly what it takes for your business to achieve the best possible results while fostering loyal, career-minded individuals that share your determination for success.

Closing note

Being able to recognize the intrapreneurs in your company will make you better equipped to cultivate a space for them, and your company, to thrive. Championing intrapreneurship inevitably encourages your company to challenge the status quo, which will lead to positive paradigm shifts within your organization — and a vibrant workforce.

This post was originally published on Entrepreneur.com

Intrapreneurs are innovators who build new systems within their company

Why Is Intrapreneurship So Popular?

The intrapreneur is a word that has been utilized often but this school of thought has been around since before someone coined the term “go-getter”. In 2015, intrapreneurs are a somewhat different breed than their go-getter predecessors. For one, they are not just young, ambitious employees; intrapreneurs are often mature executives challenging the status quo within a large company.

Self-propelled intrapreneurship has been encouraged by large financial conglomerates and tech companies including Google, Facebook and Barclays through mentorships, conferences and formal programs. Intrapreneurs push the limits and insert creative ideas into competitive organizations.

Many corporations from finance to law to advertising have become static and need new talent — which does not necessarily equate to young talent. Generation Xers and older corporate employees are challenging their millennial counterparts’ productive energy and contemporary resourcefulness.

At heart, the intrapreneur must an inventor. They see problems as ways to improve  infrastructure. They seek more efficient ways to enhance complicated systems. They put themselves in positions within their organizations to fix complex or disregarded structures.

Check out my Entrepreneur.com article about identifying successful intrapreneurs in your company.

Photo sources: Intrapreneur Building

Research contribution: A. Anderson

 

Entrepreneurs & Intrapreneurs work together to build success

Entrepreneurs & Intrapreneurs

In the 1980’s, management consultant Gifford Pinchot coined the term “Intrapreneurs” in reference to employees who are given the opportunity to develop new products and ideas from within a company. If identified and fostered properly, intrapreneurs can play an invaluable role in keeping the company highly competitive.

Teamwork creates success in a business

Teamwork creates success for a thriving business

Especially useful for businesses that rely on innovation, intrapreneurs are the individuals behind the internal ideas being explored. They are generally more comfortable for exploration within the structure of an established institution.

Forbes contributor and Fishbowl founder David K. Williams identified several common traits of successful intrapreneurs, including an exhaustive interest in finding non-economic ways to prove their own value, an intrinsic and determined ability to grow ideas without fearing failure or change, and, most importantly, confidence, humility, and deep-seeded integrity. “Tomorrow’s world of work ecosystems will be driven by the increasing ranks of intrepreneurs [sic],” Williams concluded.

Intrapreneurs especially thrive in a fast-paced  environment. They typically are naturally observant, reflective and adaptive — they love finding creative solutions from multiple points within business constructs. The intrapreneur’s mind is always working. They are architects of new ideas, new plans and generally better at  executing strategic plans. They often work very well with an entrepreneur.

Many entrepreneurs are also intrapreneurs. They are not mutually exclusive talents within one individual. The best way for a company to succeed is to encourage both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial spirit in its culture. Challenging the status quo often leads to positive paradigm shifts within the organization.

Entrepreneur in the Digital Age

The Entrepreneur in the Digital Age

Digital advances are meant to increase productivity and efficiency.

But do they? Yes and no.

Indeed, the ‘office’ has expanded outside the brick and mortar environment so prevalent just a decade ago. Tech savvy entrepreneurs are mobile, no longer confined to any one workspace. Business travelers can receive most (if not all) publications online, including major news sources, accessible through laptops, smartphones and tablets. CEOs and Presidents can stay current — all the time, constantly, and quickly.

Digital has become so essential that $1.36 trillion will be added to the top ten economies by 2020.

GDP digital uplift by year 2020

GDP digital uplift by year 2020

However, there comes inadvertent drawbacks from too much technology, which may encumber certain aspects of work, and life.  A study by PLoS One revealed that too much web interaction can increase unhappiness, and that face-to-face time with people improves mood, trust and communication. Unfortunately, that news may present major complications. An entrepreneur can never be “offline”, there is no such option.  ‘Connection’ is omnipresent, but can wireless connection actually connect a business head to his or her employees?

In order to do so, successful entrepreneurs have to play a pivotal role in keeping passion and inspiration in the workplace where it belongs. By creating changes in daily operations, leaders will increase authentic (non-Cloud-based) manager/employee connectivity.

Decoupling Productivity & Employment Chart

Decoupling Productivity & Employment Chart

According to a New York Times article on Decoupling Productivity and Employment, “[…] we can improve their [employees’] prospects greatly by investing in infrastructure, reforming education at all levels and encouraging entrepreneurs to invent the new products, services and industries that will create jobs.”

So how does an entrepreneur or intrapreneur accomplish this?

Talent Cultivation. Leadership should offer educational initiatives within the company to inspire employees and keep them engaged in the mission statement of the organization. When a leader invests in the well-being of his or her workers inside and outside working hours, this investment can act as a vehicle for the maintenance of transparent communication.

CEO in the Middle. Transparency should be another name for trust, but oftentimes, it is not. A CEO who looks at employees from a management level can exert transparency but trust is critically important. Intrapreneurs who are the most successful at obtaining trust are ones who are in the trenches alongside their workers. Those who roll up their sleeves and work through the middle have the most success than those who work from atop.

The framework of the work culture has changed drastically in just two decades, mostly for good, but the checks and balances of the increased efficiency must be monitored and tempered regularly by senior level executives. Shifts which encourage more face-to-face interaction can change the work dynamic in positive directions.

Research contribution: A. Anderson

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén