Last week, I defined intrapreneurs as employees who think and act like entrepreneurs, but inside a company. We do our best to actively contribute to achieving the goals of the company. This week, I’m going to cover some ways to think more like an intrapreneur and how to be successful at it.
To clarify, you need to ask the right questions. What problem can you solve? How can you help your team? Your department? The company? Can you implement a new tool to make your deliverables better? Also, it’s important to ask what types of things your customers want or need.
Actively look for products, services, or processes you can improve.
There’s usually a way to improve a product or service. If you can make it cost less than what is currently being offered, then you can help the company increase revenue.
You can also come up with variations on current products or services that can be sold as innovative, new features and upgrades. The same is true about processes. Modifying and streamlining a process can also save a company money.
Look for ways to improve quality
Who doesn’t like to get great quality for their money? Improving quality without adding cost, or keeping costs low, can be a competitive advantage. You can always improve quality. Usually, it is just a matter of the actual cost of doing it.
Get uncomfortable and think outside the box
In fact, just imagine there is no box or limit to your ideas. Step out on the edge and find that crazy, edgy idea. Give them the unexpected. You can create something that’s useful as well as inspirational.
Just make sure you think your ideas all the way through. Write them down, create an action plan, and fine-tune the idea to make sure you have something that’s workable.
The best things in life are discovered when we step outside of our comfort zones.
Get feedback about ideas before presenting them
Find friends or coworkers who can help you discover flaws in your solution before it’s proposed. Many times they’ll ask the challenging questions management or even customers will ask. So, feedback is key.
With that said, it’s important to keep ideas away from potential “enemies” as long as you can. Great ideas that will make you shine more, will also make someone else shine less.
Present your idea through a strong plan
Make sure you have a plan to implement your idea, one that includes steps, costs, etc. A plan will also help you to track your progress. This is a crucial point to succeeding as an intrapreneur.
Get support from a key player, especially an upper level manager
Nothing will help your cause more than a manager who believes in you and is willing to support and sponsor your idea. It also helps if your idea will help that senior manager with something he or she needs.
Don’t get disheartened at rejection
Keep going. Modify your current idea or create a new one. One of the things that will stand out the most, especially to leadership, is your tenacity and the fact that you don’t give up.
So there you have it. Eight tips to guide you as an intrapreneur.
What other tips can you add to this list? What advice do you have that can help budding intrapreneurs?