You’ve heard of entrepreneurs, perhaps you even identify as one, but what’s an intrapreneur?
This term has been growing in popularity lately as companies strive to add more diversity to their team. It was initially coined by Personal Branding expert William Arruda in his book: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand.
According to Arruda, an intrapreneur is someone who demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit from inside an organisation. In other words, it’s someone with the innovation, intuition, and insight to drive transformation in business.
Intrapreneurs are the creative minds who aren’t afraid of change and are happy to explore new avenues to get things done. The difference is that an entrepreneur acts as an individual, while an intrapreneur works on behalf of their employer.
Why Are Employers Looking for Intrapreneurs?
So why are employers so eager to add intrapreneurs to their talent pipeline?
The simple answer is that intrapreneurs are innovators who take ownership of their work. When employees feel like their work makes a genuine difference to an organisation, they work hard, contribute more, and feel more satisfied.
For instance, eBay employee Healey Cypher was an intrapreneur who realised that 75% of consumer purchases happened within 15 miles of a brick-and-mortar store. He used this insight to create new shopping experiences that combine the digital and physical world with in-store pickup and same-day delivery.
Here’s how you can become an intrapreneur and attract new employment opportunities.
1. Commit to Innovation
Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs are inherently creative. They know how to explore new avenues and challenge the status quo to get things done. As an intrapreneur, you can’t allow yourself to get stuck in a professional rut. Instead, you’ll need to think outside of the box and search for new opportunities in your day-to-day work.
Whenever you’re making a decision for the benefit of your team, question whether your process is the one that will deliver the best outcomes. Often, experimenting with new ideas and concepts will take a mixture of confidence and outside knowledge.
The more you learn about your industry and the latest trends, the easier it will be to come up with transformative concepts that help your company to thrive.
2. Understand Your Organisation
Learning about the industry is just one part of the puzzle. You’ll also need to have an in-depth understanding of your company too. What are its values and goals? What are the challenges that your colleagues face every day?
Analyse everything from the business’s employer brand to its mission statement. This will help you to pinpoint areas where change might be necessary. You can even spend time researching specific issues that are facing your team and looking for new ways to fix them.
Don’t just wait for someone to come and ask you to take charge. Get the ball rolling yourself by showing you’ve done your homework and that you know where the opportunities lies.
3. Work on Your Agility and Resilience
As the financial industry continues to evolve, the most successful employees are those who know how to adapt to change. Intrapreneurs are some of the most agile team members of all because they actively pursue positive transformation in their work.
As an intrapreneur, you’ll need to know how to drop what you’re doing and switch gears in an instant. Being flexible and open to new ideas will ensure that you don’t get stuck on a new method that won’t work for your team.
However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll give up on a problem when hurdles emerge. You’ll know how to get stuck in and continue hammering away at a problem too. Intrapreneurs aren’t easily deterred.
4. Develop Your Personal Brand
As a confident, creative and agile person, you’ll have a lot of interesting information to share about yourself and your work. That paves the way for an incredible personal brand. Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs are often acutely aware of how they communicate their strengths and knowledge to the world. You’ll likely have both an impressive offline presence, and a strong profile online too.
Because you’re always doing new things and working with different people, you’ll also be able to update your CV and portfolio of experiences regularly too. You might track your accomplishments on LinkedIn or share stories about your successes online.
The more you can work on your personal brand and tailor it to the needs and values of your industry, the more valuable you’ll become to employers.
5. Become a Committed Team Player
Finally, one of the main things that set intrapreneurs apart from entrepreneurs is that they’re not pursuing an individual goal. Intrapreneurs are innovating on behalf of an employer, which means that they know how to collaborate and work well as a team. Intrapreneurs are continually building new relationships and adding to their network.
Because they offer value in the form of creative ideas and new perspectives, people are happy to lend them a hand and ask for assistance in return. What’s more, as an intrapreneur, you’ll earn a reputation for swooping into work environments and making processes better.
About Job Fitts
Job Fitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from; HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline.