Although for many this term may be novel, by 1985 the researcher Gifford Pinchot defined it as, "those people who are capable of developing an entrepreneurial behavior, supported by the company, through the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of new business opportunities. "
The big problem that concerns big and small companies is the exhaustion of their business models, which are becoming obsolete in the face of competitive practices ... however, within all organizations there is a special type of employee who does not happy and willing to contribute ideas and work on them: they are intrapreneurs.
Although they tend to be complex profiles to manage within the organizations, the reality is that it is one of the most valuable assets of the company, since they are not only able to adapt to change, but they themselves drive it ... that in the medium or long term it can be the difference between a significant drop in sales or a new and promising line of business that saves the company. Without a doubt, it is a good idea to innovate through intrapreneurs.
The most surprising thing about this type of people is that they feel identified with the culture of the company and endorse the corporate objectives, instead of choosing to leave the company and launch their idea independently and on their own ... that is, they it is about people who bring together the best of both worlds: they are entrepreneurs willing to put all the meat in the spit, without fear of creating something new and taking risks, and at the same time they are employees committed to the company. Can you ask for more?
What factors define an Intrapreneur?
However, and despite the fact that intrapreneurship is possibly one of the most decisive factors in the future success of a company, and that from the direction of the company, the reality is that in practice not only It is ignored but often this type of profile is "pursued". True? If it's true, I can attest to that. Why?
- Most intrapreneurs are critical people with the established way of doing things, and do not accept the "always has been done"
- They often tolerate the growing bureaucracy that prevails in companies, and seek (and find) ways to skip it
- They are not afraid to say what they think, which makes them "uncomfortable" employees
- They are flexible and agile, and they value actions above all (against "throwing flowers")
- They are committed to the future of the company, not to the particular objectives a reign caused by a direct superior (of a process, Direction or Division)
- They like change and maintain enthusiasm, and do not perceive change as something negative but as an opportunity
- Although they may have any "seniority", they are usually located in the stretch where they already know the company and its processes well but have not yet lost the illusion (something that, although it depends a lot on the character, may happen later)
- In addition; is a person with a focus and a subjective awareness, which helps overcome misgivings, fears and allows us to dare to exploit the hidden talent in our company, however complicated this may be.
How can we promote Intrapreneurship?
First of all the intra-enterprise, like innovation, is not "created" or is part of zero, far from it. In all companies, there are many intra-entrepreneurs, who are informally creating or improving products, services and processes in the company you work, often in their free time.
The aim is to help and encourage this type of collaborators, since they are a key element in the future of the company. For this reason, the Human Capital Areas should at least:
- Design specific processes to detect them, something that is not common since they are often acting "below the radar" in innovation.
- Offer a support and a program of intrapreneurs or an innovation portal to channel internal ideas ... etc.
- Establish a work environment that fosters creativity and trust, and where ideas can flow
- Create a culture of tolerance to failure, where workers who risk and believe that they do nothing are valued more.
- Design an agile ideas valuation process, without bureaucracies, with transparent criteria, and above all, that does not necessarily have to go through the superior
- Recognition of the work of the intra-entrepreneur, giving it visibility and recognizing it (although it is not the main motivation, recognition is important ... not necessarily economic, but tangible and important because if it can not cause the opposite effect)
- Give space to intrapreneurs (time) to develop and improve ideas.
So, how are intrapreneurs like entrepreneurs? In its ability to take risks, in the orientation to achievement, in self-confidence, in the focus on objectives, in teamwork and under pressure, in the sense of smell for opportunities, in the commitment to a common goal, in perseverance , in the organization and in the planning.
The primordial difference? Is that the first part of an existing platform and grow companies, the second start from scratch and start a company. The two share values and are aligned with the objective.
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