Does barely a day go by that you’re asked to achieve better results using fewer human, financial and material resources?
Is your daily schedule and workload enough for two people working full time?
How can you manage to focus on the road ahead while trusting that work gets done properly?
You need to have faith in your intrapreneurs!
Who are they?
These men and women can be found at all levels of an organization. They’re younger or not so young. They may or may not have ambitions to become a team leader or manager.
Sometimes they can seem awkward when presenting their ideas and might come across as arrogant or even negative in certain cases. But I’d like you to see beyond these issues and concentrate instead on the motives that drive their behaviour.
In general, they perceive things differently. Because of this, they come up with innovative solutions that are actually outside of the infamous “box”.
Intrapreneurs will be very loyal and committed to an organization that appreciates their talents and knows how to get the most out of their skills, abilities and leadership. On the other hand, there’s a genuine risk that any intrapreneur who isn’t valued will quickly become demotivated and might end up being a negative leader.
I expect that some of you will tell me that intrapreneurs want take over from the management, that they’re know-it-alls who have no idea of the costs associated with their so-called revolutionary ideas… that in fact, they are unrealistic idealists…
I’d refute this by saying that yes, it’s much more difficult to be an influential leader of individuals or teams formed of intrapreneurs than to manage a team filled with capable people who follow established rules and procedures.
On the other hand, in the context of global competition, where uncertainty and perpetual change are daily facts of life, it’s in your best interest to develop your own leadership skills so that you can manage and motivate your intrapreneurs, instead of trying to keep them quiet and depriving yourself of their talents. Who knows, they might move to one of your competitors or maybe leverage their skills to make the brave leap from being intrapreneurs to entrepreneurs?
Several entrepreneurs that I’ve met tried at first to be intrapreneurs and their bosses didn’t know how to appreciate and value them.
It’s worth noting that during my own professional career path as an entrepreneur over the last 18 years, I attribute a large part of my three biggest successes to the fact that my business partners left me enough space to be an intrapreneur.
How to Get Closer to Your Intrapreneurs?
To break the ice, sit down for a coffee with your potential intrapreneur.
Put yourself in listening mode. Ask them questions so that you can understand where they’re coming from, and not to answer or disagree.
Be curious. Allow them to express themselves until they reach the end of their line of thinking.
Explain one of your current problems to them and think through potential solutions together.
I’m convinced that you will both find that the return on investment from the time you spend together will be far greater than you could possibly have imagined.