Posts tagged - Intrapreneur

8 Tips To Help You Become A Successful Intrapreneur

Prob-Solution

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.

Ask questions
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?

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4 Tips For Improving Your Personal Brand at Work

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

Have you ever worked with people who just didn’t give a damn about their personal brand and how they’re perceived at work? I mean they really think it’s OK to do things like hangout on Facebook all day, surf the Internet, or work on their personal pet projects. I once worked with a guy who did things just like this.

He would show up late to work, take naps in conference rooms, surf the Internet all day, making a ton of Facebook posts during work hours, and even work on personal research projects, sometimes all day. He argued that he wasn’t given enough work or responsibility to keep him busy throughout he day. He refused to reflect a positive personal brand and just did his own thing. When he was eventually fired, he actually had the nerve to feel as though he’s been wronged. Do you hear that big CLANG sound? Yeah, that’s the sound of his brass cojones smashing together.

Branding isn’t just a term that applies to marketing, it applies to employees just as much as it applies to a company. In fact, one could argue that by maintaining high standards in our personal brand, we can help increase the overall brand reputation of the company. Just ask Jeff Bezos and Tony Hsieh, the CEOs of Amazon and Zappos respectively. Both of their brands were built on excellent customer service.

OK, so here are four things you can do to reflect a positive, personal brand at work:

  1. Take responsibility for your actions, and above all else hold yourself accountable for your day-to-day performance. You never know when someone is using you as the measuring stick for their behavior, work ethic, or performance.
  2. Be authentic. As workplaces evolve from communication silos into more transparent enterprises, it’s essential that you communicate the real you in a way that makes your brand shine. People will know when you’re being fake.
  3. Be careful who you associate yourself with. In many companies there are naysayers and “lifers” who’ve just given up and settled in their positions. They’re usually the pessimists who rarely have anything positive to say. Do you really want to be associated with that person? Or how about the people who constantly goof off and rush to complete tasks at the least minute? Associate yourself with positive influences and even become one yourself. As companies evolve from being silos, negative influencers will eventually be weeded out.
  4. Be in Intrapreneur, someone who constantly seeks new opportunities to help your team or the company as a whole. Write proposals for new processes, software that will help your job, or even new business. Just make sure that the things you propose will help the company save money or improve efficiency.

We reflect our personal brands from the moment we search for a job. Our resumes and LinkedIn profiles are visual representations of our personal brand, as are recommendations and personnel evaluations. Good or poor performance can not only affect our brand at the company we currently with, but when we apply for other jobs, or even freelance gigs. I mean who recommends a poor brand, especially if it’s something they’ve tried and it left a bad taste in their mouth? So, take the time to invest in your personal brand; be the example of what your fellow employees want to aspire to, and the type of employee companies want to have lead their brand.

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