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What is an Intrapreneur?

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Identifying the boundaries between traditional corporate culture and modern entrepreneurship

There is no doubt in the fact that entrepreneurship has changed our perception of business and jobs. It has given us a pathway towards innovation while bestowing us several duties to be proactive in terms of our efforts. This has indeed brought golden chances for many and is already paving way for many others to succeed in the competitive market.

An effective business strategy

Entrepreneurship has proven itself to be an effective business strategy through which people can develop a sense of understanding towards the idea of business and get rid of the shackles of corporate slavery. However, though one cannot deny the significance of entrepreneurship in bringing many people on a single platform, it is also a reality that it has acted as a chief reason behind the dismissal of conventional corporate strategies.

The main reason behind this dismissal is the attitude of people regarding entrepreneurship as it seems a blessing to them, hence everyone tries to remove itself from the tiresome job.

No matter how important entrepreneurship might be for a country’s economy, but, it is also an accepted fact that excess of everything is bad, and therefore not every person can magically turn into an entrepreneur.

Intrapreneurship

Corporate business organizations need to remain intact because they are the prime source in contributing to the state’s as well as the global economy. Hence, entrepreneurship which was once a grave danger for many of the organizations has now become a norm prevalent within them which has given birth to another umbrella term, “intrapreneurship”.

Intrapreneurship at the first glance appears as an alien kind of concept in the presence of entrepreneurship which has become so common that we no longer feel any kind of strange towards this. However, when you dissect the layers of the term, you find that it is just another name for entrepreneurship however this time in some specified boundaries.

Intrapreneurship is an act of initiating new business projects or ideas ignited by a person who remains attached to a specific organization.

Affiliations

As an Intrapreneur, your affiliations are with one specified company and the end goal is the promotion and success of the company only. So, yes, it limits your role as an initiator but keeps the sense of productivity intact in a person.

This is adopted by companies to give the impression of a friendly and productive environment to the employees so that they don’t feel like wasting their skills at a certain place. As Intrapreneurs, their creativity is applauded and appreciated and they are handed over with the responsibility of creating a progressive reputation of the company.

A way towards productivity

In return for the favors, they are provided opportunities for success and positions based on their performance which can make them take interest in intrapreneurship. Though the end goal remains the success of the organization through which the person is connected and not the individual itself, thus intrapreneurship can still be seen as a trick of the corporate culture yet the opportunities are golden and enhance individual capacity to manage and make decisions.

Some questions

But what are the differences between entrepreneurship and how can one identify them? What are the ways of the working of an Intrapreneur? What are the traits that build up an Intrapreneur and separate him from the entrepreneur fellow? Which one is more favorable out of the two? These questions have become a constant part of the business conversations from the time intrapreneurship took its name.

In this article, we have tried to answer these emerging queries of you and to help you in choosing the right one out of both terms. So, let’s get started with this show of power.

A look at Intrapreneurship: What is the significance of the connotation itself?

As we know that entrepreneurship is by choice but intrapreneurship diverts here from the agenda. This is because of the fact that intrapreneurship is a norm implemented by an organization. It means, “The act of initiating business or businesses with the hope of profit within the company’s boundaries”

Narrowing of the boundaries

Intrapreneurship relates to the narrowing of the boundaries created by entrepreneurship. It is an approach adopted by the companies to maintain an environment of cooperation and the skills to producing positive results that go in the favor of the parent organization.

The limited authority is what actually defines intrapreneurship.

Here the investment and the profit both go in the checklist of the company. As an individual or an Intrapreneur, all you need to do is to spend your skills on bringing an innovation just the way an entrepreneur can.

It is based on the idea of handing authority to the employees. However, the overall authority still resides in the hands of the company and at the end of the day, you are bound to the norms and aims which are set forth before you by the company.

Intrapreneurship, an antagonist to Corporate Culture

With the passage of time, many things have altered in the business world because of their nature. The unwanted things are removed from the criteria of a stable business policy to bring a comfortable environment for the employees. This is because many types of research on business organizations and chief companies of the world proved that the employees work with zeal where the environment seems comfortable.

Based on the comfort of the employees, intrapreneurship rose as a major trend in the business town when every other person started contemplating the pros of being one’s own boss. The idea seemed more comfortable to an employee, so this harmed the business world beyond description because the employees after rigorous years of an effort started complaining about the entire culture which was prevalent.

Taking influence from the basic sense of entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship grants you complete freedom and provides you an environment where you could portray your skills more efficiently.

Once you become the master of your own, the brainstorming becomes much easier and elevates productivity as a reward. This creates a positive influence on the overall results of a business.

So, what makes an Intrapreneur?

An Intrapreneur is an individual who understands the significance of personal skills and thus brings innovation in the business or formulates new roots for upholding different kinds of business chained together with the new one. He is a planner who first analyzes the skills at hand and then decides on the basis of those skills.

Just like an entrepreneur, an Intrapreneur is not devoid of patience and enough business knowledge in order to decide a certain fact. He observes the trends and then builds his plan on the basis of his recorded observations. Once the plans are developed, the action starts soon after getting the approval of his superiors.

The Action Cycle of an Intrapreneur

An Intrapreneur undergoes various phases which later on brings him and the company near to the positive results for which they all have hoped. These phases run alternatively in the form of a cycle and at the beginning of each step, an Intrapreneur analyzes the progress and then moves further.

Action Cycle of an Intrapreneur

 

Absorption

This is the first and prime step towards his journey of recognition. This step can be taken synonymous with brainstorming where there are enormous ideas cooking up in the mind of the magician. As a person who wants the success of his company, he develops an understanding of the business trends going across the market.

In this step, the ideas are jotted down in two consecutive levels

  • Primary level
  • Secondary level

Primary level

This is the pioneer of the intrapreneur’s entire agenda, so it involves a careful mapping of the trends of the business town. He absorbs and understands the ideas and opinions of the other players and keeps a closer look at their performance as well.

Not only the trends are kept under consideration, but the competitor’s actions are also monitored with respect to the niche in which the company wants to extend its influence.

Once all the trends assemble up with the plus points of the rivals. A strategy is then devised. This strategy is devised according to the noted trends so that it satisfies the ongoing fascination about a specific product and does not exceed or stay behind other rivals in the market.

Secondary level

After the strategy is formulated, the mapping takes place properly. An Intrapreneur then tends to think of a plan regarding the specific business which could eventually turn up danger for the rivals and stand out among all other players in the market.

This process needs special attention because this is the entire crux of your overall venture.

As an Intrapreneur, it is very necessary for you to think of all the requirements which would be employed in the completion of your project.

At this level, still, the Intrapreneur keeps on making notes about the changes which shake the market and then can move to the next step. This is dynamic in nature because the mapping of the idea shapes itself continuously on the basis of the changes as well as the opportunities which ease up in turning the random idea into a concrete reality with the flagship of the company attached to it.

Recognition

This step can also be taken as “devouring the right time for your project”.

During this phase, the intrapreneurship sorts out the right kind of opportunity for bringing the idea one step forward towards reality. This step needs caution and carefulness. You need to know that as an Intrapreneur or either an entrepreneur, your observation skills must be hyperactive to locate the correct opportunity.

When you are a part of an organization, this step becomes even more important since you have to answer your superiors about your performance. A company always stands on the basis of its investors. So, for this project too, you need to find where the interest of the investor lies.

More often investors are ready to invest in every single project that comes in the domain of the accepted trends.

So, this is why the idea must be synonymous with the trends prevailing in the world for when you are about to show your idea to the investors, they must not find a point in raising an objection over it.

A good businessman is one who does not look for several opportunities one after the other but creates one outstanding opportunity so that no one else is able to be indifferent towards his idea. All in all the success of the idea devises the opportunity in its hands automatically.

You must have noticed and learned as a business student that you are time and again taught to be unique in terms of what you put on the table in front of others.

It is mainly because of the fact that this is eventually going to show your worth in front of them and grab you the opportunity right in front of the rivals.

So, whenever you are about to develop an idea on the basis of global trends, try to make it as unique yet useful as you can. This is because the others might present an idea that is sale-oriented only and runs as another competitor fulfilling the criteria of the trend but the uniqueness of your idea can help you build a separate trend later on in the same market from where you had got the idea at first.

Development

This step is the final nail to the coffin. It is what will actually decide your fame and company’s name in the business battle. Once you have grabbed the opportunity, you begin the final development of the project. This includes managing the tasks under the invested amount and developing the product which ensures quality and becomes another golden addition to the acclaimed products of the company.

The real game here is to manage the product development.

Many businessmen find this step a difficult one because here you practically start your journey so when the thing on paper differs in terms of capacity and quality, the problem arises.

It is advised to check your idea, again and again, to make it work as per the investment and the manpower. You need to develop a business idea which:

  • Seems workable in the market
  • Is profitable for the investors
  • Does not require a number of technicalities involved in
  • it is unique from the other ideas present in the town
  • Speaks of the name of the company through its presentation

Support

No idea is completed solely by an individual. You need the assistance of many hands to turn the dream into a reality. A good Intrapreneur always knows the significance of a good team that is potentially capable of making the impossible possible.

A good team is always a blessing for it enables the Intrapreneur to fully implement the idea into existence.

They provide every sort of support that is needed in the actualization of the idea. You need support in many areas, the technical, productive affairs and the mechanical as well.

So, at this point develop your team wisely. The best way to curate the perfect team members is to look for the skills needed for your project at first and then evaluate the skills of the employees serving in the company. Add those in your team who match the required skills for the venture.

However, this is not the only thing you need to be careful about. When you work in a team, the collaboration often becomes problematic because of the inefficacy of certain members who don’t value the project as you.

The best way to deal with their professional procrastination is to give them a free hand to show their skills. Once they don’t feel the extremely frustrating authority over them, things change.

It is because they will no longer work as steady team members, but every individual would act like an intrapreneur, analyzing the skills at first and later on bringing life to their skills. The result ultimately would be no less than a perfect representation of the business idea you had in mind.

Testing

Once you are done with the development of the business plan into an existing entity, product testing comes on its way to embrace and evaluate the quality of the product. In this phase, you need to be patient because once you are done doing the magic you could, it is now up to the customers who will evaluate the product and make its worth clear to you and the company.

This phase is important because it helps you find out any possible fault present in the product.

In the beginning, you keep your test population minimum and then research about the validity and quality assurance. On the basis of the results collected, you can, later on, construct a report which notes the opinions and suggestions of the population regarding your product.

This step is important because it lets you trace out all the flaws and attributes of your product as well as the general reception of the population towards the product. Once you are sure that it is going to bring positive results for the growth of the company, you then prepare the product’s entry into the main market.

Permission

When you are a part of an organization, you need to know that there are certain rules and regulations which come under the code of ethics of the company. So, this step involves taking out formal permission from the superiors in order to enter your product into the mainstream market.

You can present the report of the research which you conducted earlier to show them the market importance of the product in order to run the process smoothly.

Other than the company’s permission, as a larger unit, you are required to fulfill the norms of the governmental authorities as well. Once your company gives a heads up to your product, you have to prepare yourself for the bigger challenge and have to undergo the inquiry of the governmental bodies. When everything is cleared and you get a no-objection certificate for the product it is time for the entrance of your product in the market so that the potential clientele gets their hands on it which is eventually going to be the factor responsible for the growth of your company.

Action

This is the practical step where the product makes an entry into the mainstream global market and fits rightly on the allocated niche.

The customers then make a choice and your duty is limited to monitoring the clear-cut availability of the product in the market. Alongside this, you note the attitudes of the public regarding the product and on the basis of this, constantly develop a graph of the progress the product or the business has made among the public.

Not only do you monitor the efficient launch of the product but you also understand the norms of the business world, you understand the value of public suggestion with regard to your product. So, in this phase, you welcome the opinions of the public as well so that the product can eventually appear as the most perfect one carrying the emblem of the company’s success.

Lesson

Every experience itself serves as a lesson when you are a part of the business world. So, this step is synonymous with the lessons one learns being an entrepreneur. This experience of yours not only enlightens you in terms of your business knowledge and grants your acknowledgment in the business world but it also teaches you further ideas you can later on employing in the practical sphere.

You learn not to repeat the kind of mistakes that hindered your growth during the first project.

This will eventually lead you to the edge of perfection and will open more and more opportunities for productivity in the professional world.

Final Thoughts

Intrapreneurship indeed is a good trend to enhance the potential of individuals, yet one needs to learn that as an intrapreneur, you need to be far more careful than an ordinary entrepreneur. This is because your efforts will decide your company’s fate and you are needed to be answerable to the superiors of the company for the practical implementation of the concepts brought forward by you. This is what makes an intrapreneur different from an entrepreneur though skills are polished in both spheres.

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The author is an M.Phil scholar conducting her thesis in Literature. As a sucker for literature, she swoons over Greek and South Asian fiction while reviewing books in her spare time. Her love for writing has made her expand her subject matter and now she pens her opinions frequently on finance, lifestyle, history, and literature. For a special connection with entrepreneurship, she opens up the details occasionally about it.

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