What is Intrapreneurship? - Definition & Characteristics

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  • 0:03 What Is Intrapreneurship?
  • 1:20 Intrapreneurship Traits
  • 2:12 Supporting Intrapreneurship
  • 3:17 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Intrapreneurs marry entrepreneurial spirit with company resources. In this lesson, you'll learn more about intrapreneurs, what role they play in an organization, and how businesses can embrace them for overall success.

What Is Intrapreneurship?

What was your last great idea? Maybe you thought of a new business that would work well in your community. Perhaps it was a simpler way to navigate morning rush hour or school drop-off. It could even have been a new way to streamline a process or procedure at your workplace.

Did you know there are ways to advance your great ideas, even if you think you're a regular employee with a straightforward job? Many businesses are now embracing a culture of intrapreneurship that boosts innovation as well as employee morale. Let's learn how you can build and develop ideas that can improve your workplace.

The concept of intrapreneurship was coined by author Gifford Pinchot III in the late 1970s. Pinchot described intrapreneurship as the merging of an entrepreneurial spirit with the resources of a large corporation. Essentially, it takes the best traits of an entrepreneur, or someone who seizes upon an opportunity such an independence, creativity, and passion, and puts that spirit to practice inside of a business environment.

Channeled in the proper way, intrapreneurs can create innovation and enterprise within an organization. Businesses that accept and encourage intrapreneurship boast higher revenues, increased productivity, greater innovation, and enhanced employee engagement. It creates a culture that promotes change and attracts skilled and passionate leadership.

Intrapreneurship Traits

So, how do you recognize someone with an intrapreneurial spirit? Here are some traits that entrepreneurs inside of organizations possess:

  • Willingness to take calculated risks
  • Ability to think visually and brainstorm new ideas
  • Desire to influence more than reap financial reward
  • Insight to discover the next great idea
  • Willingness to change and go a new direction
  • Fresh and creative thinking
  • Balanced personality of both confidence and humility

Finding intrapreneurial individuals might be simpler than you think. The most likely candidates are the employees who are innately curious and are passionate about their work instead of viewing it merely as a job. They speak up in meetings, are problem-solvers, embrace creativity, and tend to march to the beat of their own drum - performing better by living just outside the rules.

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