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Somewhere Between Employee and Entrepreneur | What are Intrapreneurs?

The Leadership Circle
September 02, 20225 min read

Statistics say that 20% of employees will come up with 80% of the innovated ideas within an organization. Those 20% are always curious and genuinely care about helping an organization to grow. These individuals have what it takes to be intraprenuers.

Intrapreneurs are employees. But they're employees with entrepreneurial skills - and with those entrepreneurial skillsets come similar desires of entrepreneurs. An intrapreneurship will allow employees to use their entrepreneurial skills for the benefit of both the company and the individual.

This gives employees the freedom to experiment, take ownership, and foster creative and growth within an organization.

Meet Jessica Kroll

Jess was hired as an intraprenuer to build out the marketing arm of Be in the Room. She's had a passion for design since age 15 and decided to major in Design for Marketing. Marketing has always fascinated her, and her design background gave her an advantage because she could do both the creative and strategic side. She moved up the “corporate ladder” pretty quickly.

When she decided to have kids, it hit her (HARD!) that she wanted to be a stay-home mom. Jess was able to take her skillset outside the traditional marketing agency and help Be in the Room (and other startups) build solid marketing strategies. Her creativity, innovation, and fantastic relationship with her employer have allowed her to have a schedule that allows her to work full time, utilize her skills, do work that she is passionate about, and still take her kids to the park for a couple hours during the weekdays while still creating fantastic work and generating new ideas within the Be in the Room community. It's a win-win for both parties!

Here's a look at what's inside this episode of the Be in the Room Leadership Circle:

Where do you find an intrapreneurship?

If you're an employee in the 20% looking to break out of a traditional corporate role, you likely won't find your ideal career on Indeed. You're going to need to look within your network. Tell people what you're looking for in a career, provide your knowledge and expertise to friends and colleagues, and open yourself to the idea that your dream career does exist. Get outside your comfort zone and start talking to people who will introduce you to people who will introduce you to people. Eventually, you'll find a company - likely an entrepreneur - who needs your unique abilities to help them grow their business.

Where do you find intraprenuers?

Likewise, if you are an entrepreneur looking for someone to come in and help you grow your business, you're probably looking for someone with the unique skillset and ambitions of an intraprenuer. Where do you find these individuals? Networking. If you were previously in a corporate role, who in your past organizations was always coming up with ideas and overdelivering? Who was always wanting to take on new projects and tasks even if they weren't in their job description? Those are your people.

How does the company benefit?

Great employees produce great results. Period. Because intraprenuers are typically looking to expand their skillsets and take on multiple tasks even those outside their comfort zones, you will likely find one employee who has the skillset (or desire to develop the skillset) to do the work you might typically need 2-3 employees for.

Because intraprenuers desire ownership of their departments, you'll also find someone with the intraprenuership attitude will take action and need little direction. They're action takers, self starters, and care just as much about the growth of your business as you do. Which means, they'll help you come up with NEW ideas just as often as they help develop your existing ideas.

How does the employee benefit?

Much like an entrepreneurs, intraprenuers desire freedom to thrive in their own way and ownership of their own tasks. Intrapreneurs are often given the freedom to work flexible schedules. If they're brain works best in the evenings, they'll sleep in. If they're brain works best at 5am, maybe they'll take off around noon every day.

If they're a mom with littles at home, like Jess, perhaps that looks like allowing them to work around their kids schedules. If they're extremely money motivated, try tying their income directly to business growth and sales. Think of the reasons you wanted to become an entrepreneur, those motivators likely aren't much different than why your intraprenuer is on the search for something between employee and entrepreneur.

What kind of management and guidelines do intrapreneurs need?

Most likely, they need a desired result. Intrapreneurs, like entrepreneurs, find joy in the challenge. They want to know your desired result - and they want to figure out how to get there. Micromanagement is the fastest way to stifle creativity and innovation. Perhaps they will not reach the result the same way you would have, but that may not be a bad thing. Hire someone you trust to get you results - and let them create their own path to make it happen.

Conclusion:

Intrapreneurship is a great way for employees to find a career that is more fulfilling than their current position, while also benefiting the company by taking on multiple tasks and helping to come up with new ideas. Finding an intrapreneur - or an employee who is innovative, creative and possesses the similar passions of an entrepreneur can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. If you're looking for someone with unique abilities to help you grow your business, remember that networking is key. Guidelines for managing intrapreneurs can include setting desired results, trusting them to reach those results in their own way, and not micromanaging them.

And remember, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit but no desire to actually start your own business - there are options that fall between employee and entrepreneur.

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The Leadership Circle happens every Monday at 12pm Central time inside the Free Be in the Room Facebook Community!

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Jessica Kroll

Marketing Manager for Be in the Room. Mom of 2. Our community is brought together by the desire to do things differently, and to be surrounded by like-minded women who understand the challenges (and the triumphs) that come with being a female leader.

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