Intrapreneurship is the new Entrepreneurship!
Entrepreneurship…We’ve all heard wonderful stories about it: people reaching the zenith of the business scene with an innovative idea, reconverted professionals getting their start-ups bought by corporate giants, and the list goes on. Through the years, this phenomenon has grown so much in scope that everyone wishes to be at the center of these success stories. But did you know you could develop your entrepreneur skills within your company? Have you got what it takes to be an intrapreneur?
Why leave your job? Being an entrepreneur does not necessarily imply that you need to leave your current employment to start everything back from scratch. Intrapreneurship is a relatively new emerging trend where an employee or a group of employees can act as entrepreneurs within the company. While solving specific problems, forecasting future trends and implementing new processes, the intrapreneur is a fundamental component of innovation and growth at the heart of the company. Nevertheless, all the basic aspects of entrepreneurship still apply to him/her. At CIEL, the spirit of entrepreneurship is deeply anchored within our core values from a historical point of view. On a daily basis, each of our employees is encouraged to behave as an intrapreneur: managing each undergoing project and venture as their own “businesses”. In this edition of Horizons, we proudly share with you some valuable tips on how to wear the hat of the intrapreneur in every decision you make in your professional life.
Let’s face the clichés! When thinking of entrepreneurship, people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg automatically come to mind. We tend to see entrepreneurs as extraordinary beings capable of incredible feats or solitary thinkers with an unquenchable taste for risk-taking. The truth, revealed through countless studies, is that the vast majority of entrepreneurs comprises of laymen and women like a neighbor, a family member and even you and me…you name it. You don’t have to make the cover stories to be an entre- or intra-preneur.
Trust your guts!
Being an entre- or intra-preneur is an unpredictable venture: no one knows for sure from the start whether a particular idea or product will meet a successful end on the market. To be prolific, trust your gut feelings while managing risks associated with your decision. You won’t always be right but learn from your failures and try again. It is a very rewarding journey.
Focus. Focus. Repeat. It is easy to get distracted by the buzz generated around a particular social or market trend. Nevertheless, to be successful, focus primarily on opportunities. The “blocking and tackling” technique, a key to intrapreneurial success, will only come with experience gained from past mistakes.
Agility & flexibility
The ability to learn and adapt to this ever-changing, information-flooded world is a perk to nurture. To succeed, one needs to think quickly and keep an open mind while always saving the “ace” of switching to another track if things go wrong.
Be creative and innovative
Never rest on your laurels! Even the top 20 companies around the world never do so. The lack of creative thinking will eventually slow down your business while risk-taking is, on the other hand, directly linked to innovation. The key is to adopt a fresh thinking attitude.
Get insights on your ecosystem
To grow and prosper, you need to introspect and ask yourself the right questions on a regular basis. Who are you addressing your products, messages and services to? Who is your competition and what are they up to? Who are the new investors on the market? Such are the things that one needs to keep an eye on to stay on target and get in the right trend right away.
Budget is the “fuel” that keeps the company running and it is far from being unlimited. Keeping track of your expenses, where to cut costs and superfluous expenditures will keep you from wrong financial decisions.
Active intrapreneurs at CIEL
Sandy Scioli, Corporate Pastry Chef at Sun Centralised Services Ltd
Being an entrepreneur within a group implies the ability to spot and seize opportunities with the goal to introduce new services and products, new processes and organisational structures. The desire for self-accomplishment in parallel with the group’s growth is also essential. On a daily basis, it also means observing our workflow, spotting our flaws and improving through innovation and creativity. An entrepreneur also needs to trust him/herself and his colleagues, be tolerant to stressful situations, introspect constantly and challenge the status quo.
Caroline Poilly, Sampling & Pre-production Manager at Floreal Knitwear Limited
Since day one, my motto has been to “make as if I was running my own factory”. Each of my actions and thoughts are based on this principle. Being an entrepreneur implies having the guts to make decisions, to take action and sometimes get off the beaten tracks to make things happen. You need to constantly seek for opportunities and be fearless of self-criticism.
Danny Runghen, Managing Director at Azur Financial Services LTD
In our industry, being an entrepreneur means being proactive and focused on the financial ecosystem. You need to analyse the evolution of the market and understand its nature. It's only then that we can propose the best solutions in-line with the context and make sure to anticipate trends and market evolutions. We need to constantly innovate for the development of our financial system.
Damien de Froberville, Operation Manager at CIEL Properties
Being an entrepreneur implies having a perpetual desire to improve and seeing responsibilities grow by bringing additional value to the company. The key words that allow me to trace my path and follow long-term directions are “dare”, “persist”, “communicate”, “seek advice” and “be passionate”. This latter inspires me to move forward, understand the intricacies and always go further. It compels me to constantly question myself, and learn through personal experience on the field with co-workers.
Yannick d’Hotman, Physiotherapist at Fortis Clinique Darné
It’s about imagining the future and building up upon that, while keeping the human aspect at the heart of everything we shape. At Fortis Clinique Darné, we focus on the care provided to patients before revenues generated. By inspiring our staff members to provide outstanding services, our reputation automatically encourages patients to trust us. Nurturing a sane team spirit and allowing every member to grow individually is therefore a crucial aspect of entrepreneurship as, in the end, it is the group that will strengthen.
Raksha Maharaj, Head of Transformation at Bank One
“Entrepreneurship is like jumping from the cliff, and building a plane on the way down”. Similarly, Bank One is taking a leap of faith and embarking on a new Transformation journey. This requires constant intrapreneurship, i.e. being multi-skilled, being efficient in strategy formulation, daring creative solutions, driving action, leveraging on successes and learning from failures. In short, it means being a go-getter who dares to be different, knows when to seize the opportunity and is comfortable being out-of-his-comfort-zone daily. For me, Authenticity and Empathy are essential because results are dependent on the actions of others. It is not a one-man show: we need a team to build that plane on the way down – we can’t shortcut that.