Why Going Corporate Doesn’t Mean Going Rogue: The Rise of Intrapreneurship
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Happy new year to everyone! I hope you enjoyed your break, and are now energised for the year ahead.
In my last post on Startup Passion, I discussed the importance of passion for anyone considering working in the startup sector.
It was my first ever written piece, and I was blown away by the response – it’s great to see that the community understands what’s needed to succeed in the hard life we’ve chosen. Now on to the second order of business.
I’ve already talked about how entrepreneurship is fast becoming the next frontier – startups are becoming the norm, and people are seeking to disrupt seemingly unmovable business models. Not everyone can follow that drive though – commitments come in the way, funding becomes an issue, and people have a mortgage to pay.
That’s where intrapreneurship comes in. Compared to Entrepreneurship, which focusses on developing new technologies or products to disrupt industries, Intrapreneurship is the practice of seeking to disrupt and innovate the internal processes of one’s workplace – through the development of new solutions, streamlining existing processes, or simply challenging the status quo.
Fixing these deficiencies helps the company become more efficient, and ultimately, more profitable.
For a large number of people, coming up with ideas isn’t a problem in itself. Everyone has noticed issues with the way they’re working, ways they’re being inefficient, or plainly, one of the ‘dumbest things’ they’re doing within their firm, and intrapreneurship is an excellent way to work together to solve these issues. It’s the ability to act upon these shortcomings, and develop new and innovative ways of fixing them that set the visionaries apart from the rest of the team.
Lots of companies nowadays deploy some form of an Intrapreneurship program – the most famous example most people would be familiar with would be Google’s 20% time.
Allowing employees to explore their own creativity resulted in the creation of Gmail, AdSense and Google News, which went on to become huge money-spinners for Google.
Hackathons have also become a viable way for companies to essentially crowdsource innovation ideas (Facebook Hackathons, Deloitte’s HackTheDot), along with dedicated innovation zones (Microsoft’s The Garage, Ericsson’s IdeaBoxes).
With all these opportunities abound, people with great ideas have a fertile ground where they can thrive and explore their creativity. If you have proven experience in a given industry, it’s very likely that larger companies will jump at the opportunity to hire you – employees who are passionate about the company, and skilled enough to implement their passion, are an invaluable asset, and will be far more useful to a company than those who simply show up to work to complete the bare minimum of what’s required of them.
To those who have a burning passion to help make the world a better place, along with the perks of a stable career, intrapreneurship is definitely the way to move forward. Not only will you make kick-ass solutions which could help millions of people all over the world, but you’ll get rewarded internally for it, too!
Leave your comments below on how viable you think Intrapreneurship is and whether it counts as “selling out” compared to the “true entrepreneurs”, and feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for queries about anything I’ve raised in this post.
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