If you’re reading this right now, the chances are that you’ve heard the word entrepreneur before. S/he’s that person that is constantly looking to disrupt the market. They’re very proactive. Additionally, they always want to solve an existing or new problem in the market or improve a current solution. Heck, you’re probably reading this because you’re an entrepreneur yourself. However, one thing you might not have heard of is the term “intrapreneur.”

It’s funny how not every stellar business book or seminar talks about this set of people because they’re incredibly unique. They’re the life force of your company if you have employees within your organization. This is especially so because you can’t know it all or have the ability to do everything yourself. This is true regardless of your intelligence level.

In this article, we’ll be telling you who an intrapreneur is and how they contribute to your business’s success.

Who is an Intrapreneur?

In the simplest form possible, an intrapreneur is a person who works for a company but is primarily driven by an entrepreneurial mindset. Unlike regular employees, this person doesn’t wait to do what is meant to be done. Like an entrepreneur, this individual can spot problems with processes and work environments. They can develop solutions almost on the fly that would work excellently in getting rid of those problems. An intrapreneur is self-motivated, and they often treat the business with the same enthusiasm and zest as they would treat their own business.

For this reason, they’re in high demand across the business world in Africa and every other part of the world, and the chances are that your entrepreneurial taste buds are already tingling to have a taste of their resourcefulness. The few attributes listed in our definition do not nearly begin to cover what an intrapreneur does to contribute to your business’s success. Allow us to explain.

Three Ways an Intrapreneur Contributes to the Success of Your Business

1. They Increase Productivity

In our definition, we mentioned and explained explicitly that an intrapreneur is often very self-motivated. Intrapreneurs do not need to be told what to do before they get right to work. It is simply in their nature to get things done. With an intrapreneur on your team, you’re very likely to see their effects immediately, especially when you assign them specialized tasks.

It is even more glaring when you make them head a team, temporary or otherwise. They’ll likely be able to carry everyone else along, pulling the team together where necessary and bringing out the best in everyone around. It’s nothing special to them. It’s simply what they do.

2. They Solve Problems

When setting up a business, you should create systems and patterns that enable the company to function optimally. This should happen even in your absence. It’s the only way to ensure that you survive in the harsh realities of today’s business world. However, no matter how much you optimize your business for excellence, the chances are that there would still be small loopholes.

An intrapreneur is deftly skilled at finding these loopholes and helping you patch them up. This can be rewarding to your business in more ways than one. Examples include improving your workflow processes and boosting your profits in the long run.

3. They Innovate

If you must survive in the corporate world today, you must continue fine-tuning, improving, and working on yourself and your business. This directly translates to innovating and coming up with new ways of doing things.

If all you have are regular employees who simply want to come to work, do their tasks robotically, and exit the building, this might be a challenge. The reason is that these people do not have the drive required to help you improve the company the way you want. However, if you have an intrapreneur within your team, you can rest assured that you’ll have a consistent supply of ideas and thought processes. This will help you improve your business when required.

Depending on the department your intrapreneurial employee functions, you can expect to see innovations in your marketing efforts, production capacities, and so much more.

In Conclusion

Having said all this, it’s only normal that you want to get on this train and hire an intrapreneur. However, you should know that things aren’t exactly that simple. Some people are born with this gift of being endlessly impressive. Other people aren’t quite as lucky as that, but they do have a lot of potentials.

As the business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you bring out the potential in those you have. After all, you cannot fire everyone as you please in hopes of stumbling upon an intrapreneur. But, how do you build that intrapreneurial mindset in your workers, you might ask? Well, that would be a topic for another day.

However, if you’re very passionate about finding out the answers to that question in great detail, you should sign up for the upcoming Pervium Training.

 


Before going fully into building an intrapreneurial culture, you should know that we spoke about intrapreneurship in one of our previous articles. There, we extensively explained who an intrapreneur is and how they contribute to the success of your business. 

To jog your memory a little bit, an intrapreneur is a person who essentially has an entrepreneurial mindset and works to improve your business like it is theirs. However, if you want more information, you might have to go back and take a quick look at what we spoke about before. 

That said, we concluded our article with a note stating that it’s your responsibility as a business owner to get these intrapreneurs into your company. However, it isn’t the same as looking for sand on the beach. These people aren’t widespread, and sometimes you need to build them yourself.

It will take a little dedication, commitment, and effort. However, if you apply a little elbow grease, you can get the intrapreneurial culture going in your company. 

Here’s how:

1. Identify those with potential

Different people are suited to different roles. Some are perfect being followers and doing as they’re told. In their defense, they often do the job excellently and deliver on schedule. But, they need to be told what to do. 

An intrapreneur, on the other hand, wouldn’t quite wait to be told what to do. These are the people you should look out for. Keep your eyes peeled for those workers who ask for clarity on performing tasks if things don’t go as planned. It’s an indication that they’re willing to go a little further than expected. Also, look out for proactive ones who don’t often hesitate to take on new tasks. These are the people who have potential in your company, and they should take the bulk of your efforts.

2. Empower your employees

There’s only so much an intrapreneur can do if they do not have the right tools, skills, or abilities to complete certain tasks. So, as much as you want to get intrapreneurs, you need to put structures in place to help them get their work done. 

To this end, you could provide your employees with state-of-the-art tools to get their jobs done. You could also register them for pieces of training to improve their chances of developing an intrapreneurial mindset and abilities. Whatever you do, don’t merely leave them stagnant.

3. Encourage a little risk-taking

The fear of risk stifles entrepreneurs. Considering the similarity between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, it only makes sense that the anxiety affects their work too.

You cannot keep threatening your staff with sack letters every time they try to do things differently. You cannot keep telling them they’ll bear the consequences of their actions if they don’t follow your procedures strictly and without fail. 

It’s your responsibility to allow a little room for them to explore their abilities. Of course, you should regulate this so that the growing/developing ones don’t harm your business. However, it would help if you let them take risks here and there.

Once they get comfortable with trying new things and challenging themselves, they’ll have no choice but to practice their newfound penchant for innovation with your company. When that happens, you’ll likely reap the rewards.

4. Give them time and space

Granted, you’re the boss. As such, you need to keep a close eye on whatever is going on within the company. This helps you to monitor progress and gives you a fair amount of satisfaction, knowing that things are going as they should. 

However, this can do more harm than good sometimes. You see, for people to come up with new ideas and develop an intrapreneurial culture, they need to have a little breathing space. So, as much as you can, give your workers all the time they need to complete projects and bring new ideas within the confines of reasons. 

Of course, you can’t allow them to slack off. But, you can help gear them up for intrapreneurship by giving them a little time and space.

5. Try positive reinforcement 

The carrot and stick method is an excellent way to get people to improve. When they do well, you give them the carrot (reward.) When they perform below standard, you give them the stick (fines, queries, etc.)

However, if the stick becomes too much, it could be counterproductive. Rather than try to develop new ideas, your employees will simply try to please you and play by the rules, so they don’t get punished instead of thinking about new ideas. 

So, try to reinforce them positively. When they come up with a new idea, applaud them. When they don’t execute things perfectly, don’t be so quick to come down in fire and brimstone. Instead, acknowledge the good parts of their efforts and help them get better.

Finally

Building an intrapreneurial culture in your company will take patience, hard work, dedication, and knowledge. In this article, we’ve covered a few things you can do to build that culture, but the topic is so broad, we could write an entire book about it. If you do want to learn, it’d be a great idea to get signed up for the Pervium Training.