Intrapreneurship – Get Your Team Thinking Like Entrepreneurs
There is a lot of hype around entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship at the moment, with lots of people wanting to become their own boss. This of course is for many reasons, including the sheer amount of redundancies made post-COVID-19. This means it’s a very exciting time for new businesses starting up. For me, the word entrepreneur conjures up a range of images. From someone planning their start-up on their kitchen table to Michelle Mone, Richard Branson or Lord Sugar, building their multimillion turnover businesses.
But what is an Intrapreneur? The dictionary definition is “An employee of a company that has many of the attributes of entrepreneurs. An intrapreneur is someone within a company that takes calculated risks in an effort to solve a given problem.”
In reality, being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, it’s not easy and there are lots of challenges, especially around cash flow and maintaining a regular income.
There are, however, lots of similar traits which tie entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs together. One of the main ones in my opinion is Mindset, which feeds back to Stanford Professor Dr Carol Dweck’s studies. They both display growth mindset behaviour, which means that they:
- Are open to learning and finding new ways
- Persevere when things don’t go their way
- Are inspired by other people’s success
- Welcomes feedback and learns from it
- Views failure as an opportunity
During the research period for my book, Secrets of Successful Sales, I looked at what overachieving employees did differently to their colleagues whose results were erratic. It became apparent that the overachievers always felt and made decisions like they were running their own business. Although they received a salary at the end of the month, they made decisions looking through the eyes of an entrepreneur.
If it was their business, would they?
- Call the customer back when they said they were going to?
- Recycle to save costs?
- Spend their time productively?
- Turn up on time every day with a smile?
- Bring their “A game” attitude as they did on their first day?
- Look at every opportunity as a sale?
- Look for new ways to improve customer satisfaction?
The answer to this is YES, YES, YES and this is what makes them different to a lot of their colleagues.
Sometimes employees can slip into a fixed mindset:
- They loath feedback and take it as a personal slant
- They avoid challenges to avoid failure
- They believe making effort is fruitless
- They believe learning new things is not beneficial
- They are resistant to change
These traits can be prevalent especially when they have been in a company for a long time, where complacency and bad habits start to set in.
The question I would now be asking as a reader is ‘can you change your mindset?’ Here is my previous blog on the subject, as I believe you can.
This week we’ve been working with a firm of solicitors on my intrapreneurship module. Helping them to improve their internal and external communication to enhance their customer experience, which will ultimately increase revenue. I genuinely believe when it’s delivered correctly, sales and customer service are EXACTLY the same thing.
The full-day course had team members who had been with the company for over a decade, looking at things from a completely new perspective which has led to them adapting their way of working to encompass growth mindset.
The feedback from the training was 100% positive, with some attendees saying it was the best course they had attended. They are now seeing their role in a completely different light.
How do you embrace and encourage intrapreneurship in your business or department?