(aka entrepreneurial spirit within a company)
What this looks like:
Continuously questions how to improve the product, service, and/or process and finds creative ways to increase profitability, productivity, and decrease expense
Is up-to-date with trends and best practices and implements ideas to bring the team towards higher profit/revenue growth opportunities or better service for internal and external customers
Is full of energy/passion, carries a positive attitude and remains optimistic about achieving possibilities, and sees failures as growth opportunities
Takes calculated risks, executes, and achieves results even with limited resources — reduces risks and maximizes returns
Has pride and takes ownership of growing their organization as if it was their business
Build your business acumen. The more you know about other parts of the business, the stronger your ideas will be to help the collective company.
Try this: Take advantages of opportunities to learn more about the different functions in your company i.e., internal speaker series, company history section of the orientation deck, etc. If these opportunities do not exist, create your own by inviting leaders from other functions to a friendly coffee chat to learn more about who they are, their team’s mission and how their function adds value to the company’s overall business goals and objectives. Understand your internal environment (and politics).
Know what’s going on outside of your company. Being intrapreneurial is a lot about being innovative and bring in new ideas to your company. You can gain a lot by learning about what other companies and industries are doing to grow their business.
Try this: Develop and maintain a network of of people you can learn from e.g., colleagues within the company, people outside of the company, thought leaders, etc. Talk to them about industry trends that impact your line of work and possible strategies to stay on top of the issues.
Try this: Read business publications such as Forbes, Business Week, WIRED, The Economist, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal and other relevant industry and trade journals to learn about types of business and keep up to date on topics related to your industry and function.
Find ways to improve your team’s current state. To remain competitive and relevant, your team and company need to continuously find ways to reduce expense and improve efficiency.
Try this: Examine your team’s current performance and data. Identify areas for improvement on your team in expenses, revenue/gross profit, labor/staffing, growth/audience acquisition, etc. Share your ideas with your colleagues and collect feedback.
Try this: Identify a process where there’s bottleneck or unnecessary layers of approvals. Design, develop, and implement a simplified new process and evaluate its effectiveness. Tweak the process where necessary.
Focus on what gives you the greatest returns. You may have dozens of great process-improvement or revenue-generating ideas that you want to implement pronto; however, given your limited resources and constraints, you won’t be able to get to them all. Sometimes you need to know when to pivot from your ideas
Try this: Make a list of all the projects and ideas you have to improve your team. Identify the investment of time, money, resources, etc. of executing such idea, and the return/benefit of the investment. Determine the top 3 items will give you the great ROI and set aside the rest. Click here to see how to calculate ROI.
Resources for more inspiration
Cleverism: How to Develop Strong Business Acumen by Martin
Deloitte: Five Insights into Intrapreneurship by Deloitte Digital
Forbes: 6 Steps for Turning Your Employees Into Intrapreneurs by Jill Shiefelbein
Forbes: The 4 Essential Traits of Intrapreneurs by David Williams
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 53: Drive for Results
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 63: Total Work Systems
The Entrepreneurial Mindset by Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian MacMillan
Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders by Stanford eCorner (experienced entrepreneurs and innovators candidly share lessons they’ve learned while developing, launching and scaling disruptive ideas)
Startup by Gimlet Media (a documentary series about entrepreneurial life)
The Tim Ferris Show (features a diverse set of guests and examines the tactics and strategies they employ to reach success)
TED Talk: Don’t Quit Your Job to Change the World - Be an Intrapreneur by Kapil Kane (14m 6s)
TED Talk: Got a Wicked Problem? First, Tell Me How To Make Toast by Tom Wujec (9m 2s)
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