Intrapreneurship – Is it accepted everywhere?

The individual mind set in every business situation – varies with each individual and the reasons could be many – the ‘canvass’ exposure/ outlet in the current situation, past experience of the individual, innate talent, behavioral instincts – but, the point I am coming to is – Intrapreneurship – an act that is like of an Entrepreneur ( though he is not!) and we come across such people in small business organizations more. In fact, it is an act encouraged in small business organizations!

I quote from Wikipedia, “Intrapreneurship refers to employee initiatives in organizations to undertake something new, without being asked to do so. Hence, the intrapreneur focuses on innovation and creativity, and transforms an idea into a profitable venture, while operating within the organizational environment. Thus, intrapreneurs are Inside entrepreneurs who follow the goal of the organization. Intrapreneurship is an example of motivation through job design, either formally or informally”.

I find that these ‘Intrapreneurs’ are mostly self-driven, non-conformists (not as a rule, though) and are passionate about their work, as if their life depends on the success or failure of the assignment. And, many business owners encourage this with a pat on their back! NO! they are not making them the ‘owners’ of the business; but, small business owners are always on the look out for such Intrapreneurs to meet their ambitious goals. Well, the business owners do not hesitate in rewarding them too! And, in several situations, many a time, the employee knows more than the employer and the employer does not mind that. I have come to realize – these Intrapreneurs do not work for monetary compensation alone! When they are quizzed, they say ‘I get a kick in being a workaholic!! My credibility, dependability, trustworthiness and pride is at stake. I cannot be idle even for a minute’. They feel so empowered!! To the extent of feeling ‘a sense of ownership’ although they are not or can never be an owner of the enterprise they are in!

This is okay – when start up enterprises are concerned – because there is not much of organizational structure defined there as yet! Organizational rules are not so compelling there – I call them ‘Free format’ situations! In large organizations – it is already a structured set up and there is not much room to innovate or let me say, to differ much. Definitely, I am sure, they were quite different when they were small. Well, they are not ‘small’ anymore since they have grown to be big now.

Intrapreneurship is accepted in small organizations most of the time; but, in large organizations, it is accepted only at top levels like CEO or a business head. In fact, in large organizations, CEOs are expected to be visionaries! They are expected to take business initiative! There are CEOs admired for their Intrapreneurship skills. But, it would be foolish for any one to be an Intrapreneur, especially in a situation where it is not appreciated or accepted!

(The Author is Director/Proprietor, Rambuna Consultants, specializing in recruitment services, corporate training and new business start ups assistance)

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