Intrapreneurship is a term that is quite new to most of us. So, let’s try to understand what it means before moving further.
What Is Intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship is a system where entrepreneurship activities are performed within the walls or boundaries of a particular organization. So, intrapreneurs are employees of a company who work on dedicated projects assigned. While using their ideas to solve problems. The firm provides these intrapreneurs with the necessary resources such as funds, marketing setups, and other activities to achieve their goals.
In short, an intrapreneur is an inside entrepreneur of a company. An intrapreneur shouldn’t be averse to risk-taking and should be open to confronting new challenges. Since the companies absorb the losses, an intrapreneur doesn’t incur any cost from his or her pocket. There is a freedom to experiment for the individual albeit with some constraints. Intrapreneurs are usually self-driven and possess leadership traits. They make the people in their firm belief in their ideas and work towards achieving them.
What Is The Difference Between An Entrepreneur And Intrapreneur?
Entrepreneurs envision creating new businesses from start to finish while intrapreneurs work on achieving the goals set by the company. These goals may vary from increasing productivity to completing a specific project assigned to them. They need to understand the demands of the firm and how the market is shaping up to create the necessary product or service expected out of them. Let us understand intrapreneurship through an example.
Healey Cypher was working as eBay’s global product management when he realized that a majority of consumers were purchasing in physical stores within 15 miles of their locations while his own company, eBay was providing just e-commerce service. Sensing this opportunity, he assembled a team of engineers to develop physical retail stores. They created innovative and interactive storefront models that looked appealing to retailers, thereby increasing their physical retail sales.
The project was ultimately installed by Toys R Us and the group of engineers collaborated to do the same for companies like TOMS shoes and Sony. Thus, intrapreneurs sense opportunities and innovate like how Cypher did with his team. He provided autonomy for his team to effectively solve the problem and implement a solution, helping his company move forward.
So How Can Companies Identify And Develop Intrapreneurs?
Individuals with intrapreneurial talents often remain hidden and unrecognized. A recent study has shown interesting results and revealed some qualities of intrapreneurs.
Qualities of an Intrapreneur
Companies can frame a selection process to test these skills in a candidate thereby making sure that the right individuals join your firm.
Organizations need to provide conditions that facilitate intrapreneurship culture. Empowering the managers, who in turn enable their employees to innovate and be flexible while working can be an initial step towards developing intrapreneurship. Corporates should also train their employees to facilitate intrapreneurship. Thus, these individuals will take ownership of the tasks assigned to them and make appropriate decisions to achieve their goals.
Hurdles That Companies Face While Developing An Intrapreneurship Culture
- Fear of failure
- Risk avoidance
- Lack of rewards and remunerations
- Defining and demarcating roles by creating boundaries
Recruiting the right-minded individuals, developing them, allowing their ideas to take shape and funding their needs are some ways of promoting intrapreneurship. After all, individuals who don’t mind getting rid of the box instead of simply thinking outside the box are exactly the kind who make good entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs. So organizations must create an ideal environment to foster their development.
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