Perhaps you are part of a larger organisation, a cog in the great machine that churns out some obscure product or service that only now you have gotten to grips with. In doing so, you have realised that there are ways in which the business could run more smoothly, or rake in more profits. Finding these opportunities is very similar to being an entrepreneur, the only difference being that you are part of something bigger and your ideas impact more than just yourself.
An intrapreneur is on the inside looking out, and is always on the hunt for ways to improve the business of their employer. These men and women are masters are taking initiative and innovation, able to come up with ambitious but effective ideas that could potentially change the face of their company. Being an intrapreneur is not necessarily a job title, either. Anyone who is part of a business can come up with ideas, but their resources may limit their ability to do so. A good CEO or manager will look past the limitations or position of their employees and take value in their ideas.
Being able to take initiative and present ideas that are backed up by research and data will take you very far. This is a fantastic practice for someone who’s working in a regular office job and has aspirations for going self-employed and opening a business. Getting used to being assertive and confident in presentations ideas – and finding them – will provide the necessary tools for when you are running a business.
Let’s explore an example of how an intrapreneur might operate in a company. Take Jill, she’s a 28 year old junior account manager working in a PR firm. She is close to making senior, but it’s going to make a bit more initiative and drive before her employers are convinced she can handle the big guns. Jill, being the smart cookie that she is, discovers that the non-committal nature of an online conference call is leaving clients with more to be desired. So, she approaches her manager and tells them that she can travel to meet clients and impress them with her charisma and ideas.
Jill’s resources are limited, but the idea is not without merit. Far from it. Companies all over the world are waking up to the traditional yet highly effective way of doing business, which is face-to-face in leisurely environments like bars and golf courses. Any good employer would agree to Jill’s idea and at least give it a test run. What’s the worst that could happen? They lose an account? There is more chance of that happening over a soulless corporate meeting held over Skype.