What is 'Intrapreneurship'

Intrapreneurship is acting like an entrepreneur within a larger organization. Intraprenuers are usually highly self-motivated, proactive and action-oriented people who are comfortable with taking the initiative, even within the boundaries of an organization, in pursuit of an innovative product or service. The intrapreneur has the comfort of knowing that failure does not have a personal cost as it does for an entrepreneur, since the organization absorbs losses arising from failure.

BREAKING DOWN 'Intrapreneurship'

An intrapreneur is focused on the processes comprising the company rather than the business as a whole. Because an intrapreneur is always resolving a specific issue, such as increasing productivity, he requires skills directly applicable to his assignment. An intrapreneur takes risks and drives innovation within a business for better serving the marketplace through increased goods and services.

Characteristics of Intrapreneurship

Intrapreneurship allows the freedom of experimentation and growth in an organization. It fosters autonomy and independence when studying every aspect of an issue and attempting to find the best resolution. For example, intrapreneurship may involve recommending a more efficient workflow chart, increasing a company’s brand within a target group or implementing a way to benefit company culture.

A successful intrapreneur is comfortable being uncomfortable while testing his ideas until he achieves the desired results. An intrapreneur is able to interpret trends in the marketplace and visualize how the company needs to evolve to stay ahead of its competition. Therefore, intrapreneurs are part of the backbone of a company and the driving force mapping out the organization’s future.

Intrapreneurship and Millennials

A majority of millennials are embracing the intrapreneurial style of work. They desire meaning, creativity and autonomy when working. Millennials want their own projects to develop as they help their companies grow. By including employees from every age group when resolving issues, a variety of answers are proposed and resolutions determined in a more efficient manner, benefiting everyone in the organization.

Intrapreneurship Leading to Entrepreneurship

Intrapreneurship is a step toward entrepreneurship, because intrapreneurs use their creativity for enhancing existing goods and services and filling greater needs in the marketplace. Utilizing these skills within the safety of a company lets the intrapreneur test theories and determine which methods are most effective for solving problems. He may later decide to create his own company and reap the benefits of his hard work rather than letting another organization profit from his ideas.

Example of Intrapreneurship

Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, decided to do away with individual offices within three months of starting his job in 2014. He believed an open office led to more sharing of ideas and added greater value to the organization. Haidamus interviewed over 100 engineers individually to determine which technologies had the greatest chance of being successful in the marketplace at the time. As of 2016, he is growing the company’s digital media business to become a leader in virtual reality.

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