An Intrapreneur is an individual who works as an employee within a company and is usually assigned a special project or idea which he/she has to develop like an entrepreneur would have. These individuals have the capabilities as well as the resources of the business company at their disposal and are given the freedom to use them as per their requirements. An Intrapreneur’s main responsibility is to turn a business project or idea into a profitable venture for the business. It thus won’t be wrong to term an Intrapreneur as an internal entrepreneur.
Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs too need to prototype, recruit, pitch, position, bootstrap, sell, fund, partner and support. One needs the following qualities in order to be a successful Intrapreneur:
Put the company first – it is true that intrapreneurs are given a lot of freedom in terms of funds and method of working but it is important for them to put the company’s interests before their own. Intrapreneurship isn’t about grabbing the limelight, building an empire or using the company to catapult out but is more about turning an idea into an opportunity for the company.
Build on what exists – another quality which is needed by an Intrapreneur to be successful is to use the existing infrastructure and resources to make the process of innovation easier. This not only helps the individual to make the process faster and simpler but also helps to make friends with the other employees as they begin to feel like they are part of the team.
Take chances – intrapreneurship is a lot about trying new things, discarding the ones that don’t work and improving upon the ones that do. Thus, an Intrapreneur must not be afraid to take chances and should be ready to experiment with the ideas that they have. This is what makes them different from other employees who are required to work within a certain framework.
Stay under the radar – another characteristic of an Intrapreneur which makes him/her different from an entrepreneur and defines his/her success is that they stay under the radar and do not do too much to grab attention. They must work alone, with the help of others of course but without making others divert their attention to them.
Find a godfather – for people like intrapreneurs, having a godfather is a big blessing and finding one is something which can make this employee successful. Every office space has petty politics going on internally and to guide them through this, a godfather like figure can prove useful. The support and advice of a godfather can let the intrapreneurs remain untouchable and work their way towards their goals.
Intrapreneurs are the heroes of organizations and are often invaluable to them. They think and behave like owners and for this reason they may make enemies at the workplace often. But the one who emerges even in spite of the challenges and still is able to maintain a good rapport with other employees is the one who truly deserves applause. The one who works authentically and with integrity and the one who doesn’t fear failures is a true Intrapreneur.