Remaining fluid in today’s technologically fast-paced world requires a company that can be agile, adjustable, and dynamic, taking on new challenges as they arise and finding real solutions within their organization, not outside of it.
Enter intrapreneurship – the idea that it’s possible to be an intrapreneur from within a larger company, like a corporation. Your intrapreneurs are tasked with finding novel solutions to your company’s problems. In some cases, intrapreneurs work specifically on programs that fit in with a company’s overall business goals. In other cases, they’re sent out on their own to do new and exciting things that may one day change the direction of the company itself (many companies’ intrapreneurs have created something so world-shattering that the company has pivoted, or switched their business model to an entirely different one).
Encouraging intrapreneurship within your own company, or becoming an intrapreneur yourself, is as simple as starting the process of ideation. What one problem is costing your company an arm and a leg? Maybe you’re paying tons and tons of cash for a proprietary solution from a vendor, but your team has every bit of skill necessary to roll their own solution. In the long run, you might end up saving quite a bit of money letting an internal team innovate a new way of creating the same services the vendor is providing. Whether boss or employee, identifying and communicating a relevant problem is of paramount importance. You need sign-off on multiple levels of the organization, and collaboration between various business disciplines, from tech to marketing to finance, to pull off any serious intrapreneurship effort. Simply striking out on your own, either by assembling a team that’s shown no real buy-in or by doing entrepreneurial things without running it by anyone, both two sides of the same coin, and equally dangerous to your company’s acceptance of the idea.
Some organizations focus heavily on intrapreneurship, going so far as to create a “skunkworks” team that is tasked with connecting, developing, and executing new and innovative ideas. A skunkworks typically operates independently of any other department, drawing its staff at various times from other departments, reporting only to the CEO. The idea of a skunkworks originally came from the U.S. Military’s advanced research projects, and some of the things they developed include: [Fill this in]
But for small companies like yours and mine, intrapreneurship is not a dedicated, full-time job. It’s a side project here and there. Fostering these projects internally, providing a dynamic environment where people feel free and encouraged to collaborate, talk, and try new things, and providing the necessary monetary support can help these side projects to increase in frequency, complexity, and ability, bringing your company to new heights through nothing more than the ingenuity of the people already working there.
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