Organizations – regardless of size – are constantly striving to be more adaptive, disruptive, and innovative. These attributes are inherent in the DNA of a startup, but at times are beautifully carried over to the corporate world. Nevertheless, this paradox of an innovative corporation can only be accomplished if employees act as entrepreneurial as founders in a startup.
An intrapreneur is “an inside entrepreneur, or an entrepreneur within a large firm, who uses entrepreneurial skills without incurring the risks associated with those activities. Intrapreneurs are usually employees within a company who are assigned a special idea or project, and are instructed to develop the project like an entrepreneur would.” (Investopedia)
An entrepreneurial employee can experience faster career acceleration, stronger relationship growth with management, and superior peer and executive recognition within an organization. Yet at the same time, an entrepreneurial employee understands the foundation behind salary, and that for each dollar paid, there must be one dollar of value provided.
Corporate employees have the ability to act as entrepreneurs, and should seize the moment to advance their career. Here are a few ways to get started:
Hyper-Focus on Lead generation
Customer acquisition is valued tremendously in, both, the B2B and B2C space. Thus, it becomes vital for employees to bring in new business. This job is usually left for those in a sales or business development position. But an entrepreneurial employee recognizes an opportunity when it presents itself.
An intrapreneur develops a hyper-focus on generating new leads for the company, regardless of the projects usually handled by that position. If a man or woman in IT, or software development, or accounting, can bring in a new client or generate a new lead for the organization, that employee will be rewarded, recognized, and compensated; monetarily or otherwise.
An intrapreneur understands the firm and its dynamics, and is not overwhelmed by the divisional structure intrinsic to large organizations. An entrepreneurial employee with a hyper-focus on lead generation is quick to refer to members and groups in an organization outside of his or her primary division, demonstrating an unparalleled passion and knowledge of the company. That employee truly will understand the power of near-guaranteed retention.
Consciousness of Efficiency Identification
At a fundamental level, there is only one input / output, for an organization: debits and credits. Companies can either take in more, or give out less. Thus, equally as important for an organization is effective management of resources – costs, especially labor.
An intrapreneur maximizes his or her worth to a company by amplifying productivity. This type of employee is constantly on the lookout for cost-cutting measures. He or she is not afraid to speak their mind to superiors, and will approach executives with suggestions.
The entrepreneurial employee does not rely on HR, annual reports, or senior management to identify efficiencies, problems or suggestions; the entrepreneurial employee sees something, and says something.
The intrapreneur looks for solutions, and articulates them, on both the individual personnel and team level, and does not wait for proper implementation to make a difference. This employee finds a way we could do things better, cheaper, faster, and voices it. Some of the greatest innovations at large organizations have come out of entrepreneurial employees doing just that.