You do not have to work at a Fortune 500 company or a Silicon Valley super company to practice intrapreneurship – which is basically entrepreneurship in the confines of the firm. Although many companies like Google, Microsoft and scores of others have implemented systems, policies and allocated a budget to institutionalize innovation – anyone can be an intrapreneur. Even you.
Think about the many times you have identified areas for improvement at your company– you know those areas you moan about and lament about and wonder why no one makes some changes. Well can’t that someone be you? Now, let us get it clear, I am not saying that you march into your boss’ office demanding change. There are some steps though that you can take to let your inner innovative alter ego out and make yourself a more valuable team member in the eyes of your superiors.
Identify a process for improvement that is within your current job role, function, area of expertise or department. Why? Well you are most likely to persevere through the inevitable challenges, if the outcome will ultimately benefit you. Additionally, it is easier to build a coalition of supporters and champions for change amongst those who you have worked with more closely and those who know your passion for innovation. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that you will be the most effective and successful if you tackle a project that is in the sphere of your expertise and experience.
Create a plan. How will you effect this change? What resources will you need? A tip – make sure the resources that you need already exist – perhaps heavy on the human resource side and light on the budget side. Most bosses will approve a project where the resources to tackle it are well within the means of the company or department, and have little capital outlay. You must then be able to articulate the outcomes. Who will it benefit? This is extremely important . Your higher ups will NOT give you an ear if the project you wish to tackle is your pet peeve or the pet peeve of just a few. Your initial project must result in significant increases in efficiency and effectiveness for it to be considered. It would be wise to create a brief electronic presentation that can be downloaded or printed and given to your boss during the meeting. Which brings us to our final step.
Ask for a meeting – yes a face to face meeting. If your company has an open door policy – great. If not request one by email. Your email should be formal, brief and provide a concise outline of the problem and your idea for a solution. When you do meet (if not possible lay out your plan in email) outline why the issue identified is a problem – indicate how it reduces, productivity, morale and the bottom line. Indicate your willingness to work with a team to get it resolved and the benefits to resolution. Never mention increased compensation or remuneration. THIS IS NOT YOUR GOAL. Your goal is to flex your entrepreneurial muscles and build your skills and value and worth to the firm.
P.S. Once you have successfully completed your project add it to you resume!
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