Could you make your job better by becoming an intrapreneur? Intrapreneurship means to think and work like entrepreneur, even though you are still a part of a large organization.
For example, as an intrapreneur, you might get creative and try to improve a product. Or, you might look for ways to make a specific service more profitable for your company. Maybe you discover a new opportunity to market a product or a service. You might find ways to communicate better within your team, and with that, speed up the workflow. Or you might go the extra mile to increase customer satisfaction. In other words: whatever your role within the organization, you actively drive innovation and keep looking for opportunities to improve your company.
Good employers realize how valuable intrapreneurs are to their organization, and a lot of research is being conducted in the attempt to understand how different leadership styles and company cultures can encourage intrapreneurship among employees.
Now, we all know that not every employer encourages innovation. The company you work for, in particular, might not be one that fosters intrapreneurs at all. Nonetheless, the good news is that trying to think more like an entrepreneur can also benefit you, as an employee. Namely, it seems to start a positive cycle of growth for yourself that gives you more personal resources, which, in turn, gets you more engaged and even more motivated to make a difference at your workplace.
So how can you do it?
Here are five tips on how you can become an intrapreneur and thereby increase your work satisfaction.
Which improvements would add to the value of the organization as a whole, rather than just make your own life better? In order to think like a boss, you have to think outside of your own role. Sit down and brainstorm ideas that would make the company run more efficiently, bring the team closer together, increase company morale, be cost-effective and lead to more revenue for the business.
For example, perhaps your work team feels disjointed, so you suggest some team-building activities and suggest your boss incorporate 360 reviews.
Even if you think big, it’s often best to start with small changes that you can take on yourself. Eventually, when you need help from others to accomplish bigger things, they can see that you’ve already put in your work and they’ll trust you to match their effort with yours.
For example, if you find that work meetings are all over the place, you could start making an agenda for what you want to bring to the meeting, taking notes during the meeting and sharing those with the rest of your team.
Search through the organization for people who are passionate about accomplishing something and team up with them. Look for ways to make their job easier and better.
Say you want to create a system that helps celebrate employee success when they make a big sale, that also offers incentives to reach targets. Team up with company go-getters and come up with an outline to show your boss.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and recognize that it is often necessary to explore many different paths in order to produce innovative breakthroughs. Some of those paths will fail, but recognize that this is a part of the process.
If you are in charge of the company’s social media marketing efforts, for example, you’ll likely try out quite a few different methods before you find that marketing sweet spot – that doesn’t mean you aren’t good at what you do, but that you are always thinking and experimenting with new ideas. What employer wouldn’t want these qualities in their staff?
Your boss might not be supportive of all your new ideas or you might be limited in your efforts by your workload or your environment. Nonetheless, within your realistic limits, keep searching actively for opportunities to make a difference wherever you can.
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Ursina Teuscher is a career and decision coach. She helps people become masterful decision-makers – on or off the job. Ursina has a PhD in Applied Psychology and a professional license as a Career Coach from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. She co-authored the book “Heart and Mind: Mastering the Art of Decision Making”, as well as numerous research articles, and she teaches decision-making at Portland State University in Oregon.