Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Corporate Talk: The mindset of an Intrapreneur

Had a privilege to present in front of young, talented employees of Qapitol couple of weeks back. When my friend Ajay Balamurugadas reached out to me for a possible talk, one of the first topics that
came to my mind was on Intrapreneurship.

The reason this topic is dear to me is for a few reasons:
1. Intrapreneurship is quite an under-rated and under-leveraged concept in the corporate world.
2. I had a recent stint as an Intrapreneur and created opportunities to create more intrapreneurs in my organization.
3. I believe that the young audience (which Qapitol team was) should get introduced to Intrapreneurship as early as possible in the career.

I have used the term 'Intrapreneurship' a few times already and some of you made me wondering what this term actually means. Let me narrate the essence of Intrapreneurship as follows:

About Intrapreneurship:
Entrepreneurship has been a buzzword that dominates most of the conversations in our industry. Entrepreneurs are certainly a special lot who are ultra-passionate, enjoy taking risks and are usually driven by making a positive impact to the world around them.

With all the attention that entrepreneurship gets, it is arguably not possible for all of us to become one. There could be myriad of reasons for this but many of us consciously find our calling in working for the organizations. If an entrepreneur creates a vision, it's the employees who make it a reality. So this choice is absolutely fine and legitimate.

Being an employee doesn't mean that you cannot exercise the traits that make one an entrepreneur. In my career journey, I discovered that one can embrace those traits anytime at work and create a dent in the universe surrounding your organization. Simply put, Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization.
In this session, I shared my experiences about this discovery of mine and dissect a few of the distinguishing qualities that make one an Intrapreneur.

About the mindset of an Intrapreneur:
In the talk I focused majorly on the mindset of an Intrapreneur. I ran my first full marathon (42.195
Km) in 2014, focused a lot on physical training. Realized at the end of that run the importance of mindset training. Recently, finished my 17th  full marathon in 40 degrees plus heat, could finish it due to better mindset preparation.
I follow similar approach while taking any new roles i.e. unpeel the job and figure out what mindset would be needed for success and work to master that first (while working on skills).
In many ways, mindset training precedes skills training.

Here is what I talked about as being an mindset of an Intrapreneur.

1. Intrapreneurs have high degree of situational awareness
2. Intrapreneurs know how to build support for their idea
3. Intrapreneurs know how to effectively communicate success
4. Intrapreneurs are authentic, align first with core values
5. Intrapreneurs are champions at connect the dots
6. Intrapreneurs focus on Credibility/Reputation first, Skills next
7. Intrapreneurs embrace learnability, but also stay teachable
8. Intrapreneurs know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness
9. Intrapreneurs understand that there is absolutely no sense of entitlement
10. Intrapreneurs know how to embrace constraints
11. Intrapreneurs come to work willing to be fired
12. Intrapreneurs keep the hunger, that ‘Fire-in-Belly’ alive at all the times
13. Intrapreneurs show-up more often than anyone else

In the upcoming blogs, I would double-click on each of these aspects and share a bit more details from my experience and a few analogies from the world of sport.


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