Have you been feeling an entrepreneurial spirit bubbling up from inside? Did you know that you don’t need to start your own company to be an entrepreneur? You can also be an entrepreneur while working for a large corporation. The only catch: It sometimes requires a few additional skills.
“Intrapreneurship” is a topic that has become increasingly more popular as large companies struggle to find ways to maintain their competitive edge in the global economy. Intrapreneurship is similar to entrepreneurship, except that it focuses on ways people can act entrepreneurially from within established organizations.
According to a survey by Ernst & Young, internal company entrepreneurs need specific characteristics because “large and well-established companies often comprise rigid structures that can stifle the entrepreneurial spirit.”
Bringing a new product or service to market can be more difficult within a corporate environment when forced to follow company policy or lengthy approval processes. To overcome this challenge, an intrapreneur needs to be a visionary leader, and patient enough to do what it will take to overcome obstacles and garner internal support. It requires the confidence to encourage change and to challenge current ways of doing things.
Attributes and skills necessary for becoming a successful intrapreneur include:
• Knowledge of the internal and external environment
• Visionary and willing to challenge the status quo
• Diplomatic and able to lead cross-functional teams
• Ability to build a professional support network
• Ability to persevere, even in the face of uncertainty
Successful intrapreneurs need to understand all aspects of the external environment. In addition, they must be able to navigate the large (and sometimes maze-like) internal corporate environment, which can sometimes be weighed down with politics and varying personalities.
Because bringing innovative ideas to market within large companies often requires the knowledge and skills of employees from many different departments, intrapreneurs also need advanced skills in diplomacy and the ability to drive multidisciplinary teamwork and multinational projects.
Being open and honest, sharing credit wisely and building a coalition of trusted advisors and supporters within the company can help an intrapreneur be successful. The encouragement and assistance from a professional support network will also help intrapreneurs persevere in the face of obstacles and adversity.
Even though almost 50% of the survey respondents said generating innovative ideas becomes more difficult as an organization grows in size and complexity, cultivating these important attributes and skills can help you overcome obstacles and become a successful intrapreneur within a large corporation.
Lisa Quast is the author of Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach: A Foolproof Guide to Getting the Job You Want. Every Time
More Info: forbes.com