Intrapreneurship – it’s really a thing

Jennifer Nietz - Director of Operations

Last month, I wrote to you about innovation and specifically about finding those mentors to help guide and spark ideas.  As I mentioned, I follow Richard Branson on Twitter (@richardbranson).  I love his mindset about running businesses and his thoughts around leadership.  The other day he had posted an article on intrapreneurship.  I thought to myself, “Wow, what a cool concept, but is this really a thing?!” To my surprise, it really is.

From Wikipedia

Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Intrapreneurship is known as the practice of a corporate management style that integrates risk-taking and innovation approaches, as well as the reward and motivational techniques that are more traditionally thought of as being the province of entrepreneurship.

“Intrapreneurship refers to employee initiatives in organizations to undertake something new, without being asked to do so.”

That’s exactly it – everyone can be an intrapreneur.  From the man himself, Richard Branson – here are the 6 ways to discover your inner intrapreneur:

  • Be a student – Learn a new skill or develop an existing one. Developing non-work skills stretches our brain and helps us to manage our emotions by stepping away from work. Take up a language, or refresh on an instrument you played in high school.
  • Identify your personal brand – Building a reputation or personal brand is vital because visibility leads to credibility. Be present on social media and share your ideas. Furthermore, develop your network because who you know and associate with says a lot about you.
  • Say hello to the guy on the third floor – Okay, so maybe you don’t have a third floor (I don’t), but do you really know all the people that you work with? It’s critical for you to connect with people at all levels and in all departments in your organization.
  • Cold call your CEO – If you’re going to drive change at your organization, you need to speak to the people that matter. Maybe “cold call” here is a bit extreme, but scheduling a meeting would be a good step. Don’t think that you don’t have the authority or the power.
  • Work out what you’re good at – Successful intrapreneurs exploit their skills and abilities. What are you good at? Write all of your skills down.  Then determine what your top 10 are by how good you and what you like doing.  Do those!
  • Ask “Why?” a lot – Put a systematic approach to implementation by asking why before diving in. You may find that you are implementing something for not a very good reason.

I would love to connect with you regarding your innovations.  Follow me @Jennifer_Nietz and for more on Intrapreneurship @Intrapreneur.

Questions or comments? Please contact Jennifer Nietz at