Intrapreneur | Noun: An employee within a company who promotes innovative product development and marketing.
Over recent years we've seen a push for entrepreneurial skills with research showing the value of innovative thinking for individuals as they navigate the ever-changing future of work. As the conversation around entrepreneurial skills continues to grow, there is another term that I wanted to enter into the conversation as we explore the link between innovative skillsets and career pathways.
Intrapreneurship is the act of taking an entrepreneurial approach to product development and business development within an existing organisation. Whilst intrapreneurs use similar skills to entrepreneurs, the main difference is that an intrapreneur is working within an existing organisation, whilst an entrepreneur is building their own business.
Organisations big and small around the world are being challenged to think differently about how they approach their product development, marketing, and business development and with that, many are establishing innovation teams, or innovation champion programs, consisting of intrapreneurs tasked with finding new ways of doing things.
The remit of an intrapreneur is not too dissimilar to an entrepreneur. They're tasked with identifying an opportunity, developing a business case, creating a solution, and then finding a way to commercialise that product or service. One of the challenges that is unique to an intrapreneur however, is gaining the support of colleagues and superiors, whilst also design a solution that is 'on brand' for the organisation they are working for.
To do this successfully, an intrapreneur will need to use a lot of the same skills as an entrepreneur as they use their creative thinking and problem-solving to come up with possible solutions, communication to sell their ideas internally, resilience to pivot when things don't go to plan, critical thinking to analyse user feedback, and marketing skills to sell the final solution.
I particularly love the concept of intrapreneurship as for many of us, being an entrepreneur and starting a business is either a risk that we simply can't afford or a career pathway that doesn't interest us. Whilst someone may be incredibly innovative and entrepreneurial, intrapreneurship allows them to follow an innovation pathway within an existing organisation and with the security of traditional employment.
So the next time you're talking to someone about entrepreneurial career pathways, make sure to mention intrapreneurial pathways as well!
To find out more about intrapreneurship and to explore three examples of intrapreneurship in action, make sure to check out my other post here.
About The Author:
The tech-head prodigy behind BOP Industries, Scott Millar is a young entrepreneur taking the world by storm. Compared to a young Steve Jobs after turning a year nine business project into a thriving business, Scott finished high school and deferred university to run BOP Industries full time, now with a growing presence around the world. As a now 22-year-old, Scott has recently been named one of Australia’s top 30 under 30 in business, Asia Pacific’s Inspiring Youth Leader for 2019, Queensland's Small Business Leader for 2021, Griffith University Entrepreneur In Residence and an LGBT advocate and leader in Australia and overseas.
To find out more about Scott and to see if he's available to speak at your next event, head to: www.iamscottmillar.com/speaking