5 Must-Have Skills for Intrapreneurs
May 7, 2013 Editor 0
Some people think that by tying a tie around an entrepreneur’s neck and making him commute daily to a fancy office building inhabited by 500+ employees of the same company, he will automatically transform into an intrapreneur – I think this is just shallow thinking.
I’ve seen brilliant entrepreneurs failing in enterprises (corporates) almost as often as I’ve seen great managers hitting rock bottom in start-ups. So what makes an entrepreneur succeed in an enterprise? Is it just random or is there a science behind the madness?
My personal checklist for being a successful intrapreneur includes the following items:
- Know and understand your internal environment. Everyone knows that understanding the economy’s driving forces is essential in creating a successful business but what is equally important for an intrapreneur is to have a sound knowledge of the internal environment. Bottom line is that, as intrapreneur, you need to figure out stuff like: employees’ status, corporate culture, management structure, employees’ behavior; in order to run successful endeavors.
- Networking, networking, networking. Both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs must master this skill, the only difference being that in the intraprenur’s environment ‘office politics’ play a bigger part. Bottom-line, in the corporate environment, you can’t get somewhere without a powerful support network.
- Data before rhetoric. Decisions need to be taken by both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs: kill a project, ask for another $1M, hire talent, stop collaborations, etc. The best way to do it in an ‘office politics’ heavy environment, is to go the lean entrepreneur’s way: data before rhetoric – every decision should be based on concrete and transparent data.
- Validate before full execution. A successful intrapreneur runs successful projects – it’s as simple as that. From the lean start-up method, an intrapreneur should learn how to test and validate assumptions before diving into execution.
- Foster a learning culture. This one might sound really abstract and is also rooted into the lean start-up: foster a culture in which learning is highly valued and rewarded.
As you can see I haven’t mentioned anything about vision, drive to chance the status quo, and resilience, because I personally think that, unless you score off the charts in these, you can’t even pass the first job interview for a position of intrapreneur.
Since I’m no expert here and I’ve barely scratched the surface with this post, I’m really keen on learning from your experience: what other skills and strategies prove to be successful in the relentless pursuit of becoming a better intrapreneur and which one of the 5 above, you consider being the most relevant skill? Drop me a comment.
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