Writing in Procurement and Supply Australasia (PASA), Federico A. Bettini contends that someone with a strong entrepreneurial spirit who is working in a large organisation shouldn’t necessarily leave to start their own business.
Rather, he recommends that they consider becoming an “intrapreneur”. He states that “The concept refers to people that like to innovate processes, create new ones to achieve an innovative outcome or transforms an idea into a profitable venture, while operating within the organisation.”
Key traits of intrapreneurs are given as:
- Courage and flexibility to think outside the box that may influence the strategic direction of the organisation they work for.
- They are creative, proactive and self-motivated.
- Strong leadership skills are needed to strengthen teams and to persuade others to follow and execute their ideas. Leadership skills are also important to support rapid decision making under uncertainty; that differs intrapreneurs from managers that are risk adverse and often work within established patterns.
- Intrapreneurs start without the recognition of the same degree of power while traditional managers get their authority from the above.
- Intrapreneurs are able to search for opportunities and shape them into high-potential innovations through teamwork leveraging large organisation resources. This requires the right conditions of good leadership, communication and the appropriate environment to support creativity.
Intrapreneurs bring benefits to organisations, so organisations should foster an intrapreneurial culture. Bettini advises that this can be done through:
- Empowering employees so that they become owners of their own tasks.
- Providing safe-fail environments, where failure is valued.
- I wish / I like sessions, where “I like” statements recognise new projects while the “I wish” statements consider how things can be done in a different way.