Monday, October 18, 2021


Being entrepreneurial is first the mindset, then an attitude and skills are the easier part to be developed.

Intrapreneurship is about discovering the new path for business growth by taking entrepreneurship activities for creating the future via learning, experimenting, and discovering. It presents a greater challenge and reward by pioneering the development of new products, services, processes, or business models, etc. 

Great intrapreneurs with following traits are in strong demand to rejuvenate culture of innovation, drive transformative change, invent new business models, and exemplify creative problem-solving.

Out of the box thinking: Intrapreneurship is about discovering the new path for growth and balancing innovation with other organizational priorities. Intrapreneurs can think out of the box, bend some rules in order to discover the new path of growth. They are able to explain the big why clearly, articulate the strategic rationale behind the intrapreneurship venture, and bring fresh perspectives to the table. Intrapreneur-leaders can think out of the box, drive imaginative transformation, of moving beyond traditional business operations or incremental improvement, encourage themselves and subordinates to practice out of the box thinking and new designs to delight customers and achieve high-quality results over a sustainable period of time.

Because with an increasing pace of changes and frequent disruptions, the existing business models or best practices are outdated sooner than ever and the “commonly known” method is no longer working anymore when the circumstances change. Intrapreneurs demonstrate a willingness to “not know” and be able to source new possibilities; ask tough questions, channel energy, enthusiasm, and ideas, break the rules if necessary, willingness to accept feedback and/or tenacity to refuse it; propose and deploy new ideas, new processes, new adventures to adapt to change.

Optimism: Businesses, especially well-established organizations need people who are passionate about exploring new opportunities to work at the heart of the enterprise to awaken innovation and build competitive business advantage. Being optimistic is the view of looking for the best, with a “never give up" attitude. Intrapreneurs can bring optimism to influence the organization’s culture, break down bureaucracy, idea bottleneck, linear knowledge box, have an outward view to see the bright side of things; and encourage innovation.

We are experiencing the paradigm shift from an industrial age with scarcity of information to the creative economy with information exponentiality. New types of leaders are rising with a much more entrepreneurial spirit, not only self-motivated but also motivate teams to cultivate innovation capabilities. The optimistic view is encouraging, but everything should be at the right dose. Keep a balanced viewpoint of being optimistic and cautious in order to make an objective judgment and lead innovation step-wisely.

Innovative problem-solving: Running a business is technically an iterative problem-solving continuum. It is important to experiment, explore, and encourage new way to solve either old or emerging problems. Intrapreneurs are usually innovative problem-solvers who have a mindset with curiosity, self-inclusiveness, creativity, and progression. They can figure out different ways to solve problems, and enjoy the problem-solving jigsaw puzzles. In fact, what many see as innovation is actually an alternative problem-solving scenario to fix things and create more value than conventional approaches.

Thus, it’s important to develop employees entrepreneurially. An individual's attitudes and beliefs are all valid within the context of his or her personal experience. Take people through new experiences, expose them to additional information or thought-provoking insight through those experiences, and do that very purposefully. In traditional organizations with silo or overly restrictive management silos, it’s important to create the opportunity for staff to shift attitudes, beliefs, mindsets of “we always do things like that,” and become more entrepreneurial; that ultimately will cultivate their innovative problem-solving capabilities.

Intrapreneurs are often the owners of new business models or stewards of idea management of their organization. They need to present accountability which is a type of cognitive fitness to show the ownership mentality, and take responsibility to do the work for achieving high performance. They take the “entrepreneurs’ spirit to turn the status quo upside down for dealing with uncertainty, break through organizational bureaucracy, idea bottleneck, linear knowledge box, and be accountable to make innovation happen. It is also important to enhance accountability via effective delegation of authority or power and people-centric processes/systems.

True accountability focuses on learning to do things differently. Accountability needs to be well embedded in the business culture, individuals should take responsibility for what they do and what they say. The good measure of accountability is about resilience, which is determined not by whether an individual or a team makes a mistake or not, but on how quickly they can recover so that customers, teammates, and others aren't negatively affected by the breakdown. Great intrapreneurs can help to shape a culture of accountability in order to build a high-performing organization.

Risk tolerance
: Practicing intrapreneurship means the enterprise should go smarter and more flexible, with the right dose of risk tolerance to convert a problem into an opportunity. Practicing intrapreneurship in large enterprises needs to strike the right balance between stability and change, process and creativity; standardization and innovation. The value of taking an entrepreneurship effort is tied to the broader importance of staging a venture systematically. Intrapreneur leaders have willingness to take risks, are systematic and good at calculating the risk for managing innovative activities effectively.

It takes courage to be an entrepreneur/intrapreneur because it's not an easy job to face and manage risk, uncertainty, ambiguity, and overcome barriers every day. Entrepreneurs taste risk as bitter experience and show resilience to recover. Good intrapreneur-leaders who show the mental toughness have balanced viewpoints to perceive innovation success and failure objectively, capture opportunity, roll it out and measure performance result accordingly. They can help businesses become more resilient, and nurture the culture of risk intelligence.

Corporate Entrepreneurship has been recognized as a potentially viable means for promoting and sustaining organizational performance, renewal creative energy and corporate competitiveness. Being entrepreneurial is first the mindset, then an attitude and skills are the easier part to be developed. It’s a strategic imperative to cultivate a new generation of workforce that is more entrepreneurial and value-driven. Business professionals today are more aware of the new complexity, and the desire to find a new space and they want to find new rules to do things in their own way and rejuvenate the culture of innovation.


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