Building Momentum From Within: Meet the Intrapreneur

what is an intrapreneur

There is something shiny about the word entrepreneur. For many, it symbolizes innovation, passion, and creativity. However, many people who embody these qualities work within organizations instead of for themselves. They bring their drive and growth mindset to work each day. They try new things and are changemakers within an organization. Meet the intrapreneur.

What is Intrapreneurship?

Intrapreneurship is the use of adaptability and creativity to maintain innovation within organizations. It’s insider entrepreneurship. This can manifest in many ways, including the creation of new programs and initiatives, problem-solving, and job crafting. Intrapreneurship brings together eagerness to learn, a competitive spirit, openness to risk, and rewiring typical thinking. Simply, by allowing oneself to imagine “new,” “more,” or “different,” an individual can use skills to benefit their organization and themselves.

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Types of Intrapreneurs 

Intrapreneurs present their skillsets in many ways, depending on their strengths and priorities. The most common types of are creators, doers, and drivers:

CREATORS are the maximizers. They are always looking for better ways to accomplish tasks and goals. They are focused on the big picture and thrive on change. While they may not be the one to charge forward with the ideas they create, creators can come up with ideas fast. Creators are the true innovators.

DOERS take the ideas and bring them to fruition with enthusiasm. They are the taskmasters who can bridge the big picture and tiny details. Doers are effective communicators and fully own their projects — they thrive on results. They can see the end product in all its glory.

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DRIVERS are the momentum builders within organizations. Masters at executing plans, drivers get things done. They work well under pressure, while motivating others along the way. They’re always focused on the end results. 

Each of these intrapreneur types is an asset within an organization. When all three types are present, the collaborative growth is multiplied. But how does one build a creator, doer, or driver mindset?

How to Build an Intrapreneur Mindset

So, you’re ready to drive innovation and sharpen your organization’s edge? There are many ways to jumpstart your mindset and align your enthusiasm with projects that can move your career forward.

  • Be proactive. Make it a point to think big each day. Ask more questions that will excite your thinking process. Start connecting the dots between projects, goals, and people to see things from a different lens at the onset.
  • Be prosocial. Give, learn, and partner with your colleagues. For instance, by talking and having conversations, you may find a creator that needs a doer or a driver.
  • Be solution-oriented. If you can deliver solutions proactively your value to your organization increases. Stop with the “buts” and other excuses. Instead, decide to accept challenges and move forward. Find ways to overcome obstacles that are hindering your goals.
  • Learn to pitch and sell. Learn to take dormant ideas and revitalize them with sales tactics. Consider timing, necessary sponsorship, and change management strategies. Make exciting ideas even more enticing.

Regardless of whether you are trying to build an intrapreneurial mindset for yourself or your organization, it is essential to remember that at its core, intrapreneurs, just like entrepreneurs, want to drive progress. Even though they may not be the top decision-maker, intrapreneurs can combine innovation with passion and creativity to add value. They are intentional and take risks. They are an untapped resource.

In conclusion, Intrapreneurs are not dormant changemakers in waiting. They’re just as shiny as entrepreneurs!

ashley waters
Ashley Waters

Dr. Ashley Waters is a wife, mom, higher education administrator, event planner, community volunteer and an avid organizer. She loves being busy with a purpose and making an impact with her work and within her local Frederick, Maryland community. Ashley aims to help others fit their passions into their lives and continues to work on achieving just the right work-life balance for her many roles. She is the executive director of Woman to Woman Mentoring, a nonprofit organization that cultivates mentoring relationships that provide women with guidance, support and community connections.

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