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Article 1 of 4 of the Readers Choice 2022

“Intrapreneurs are the dreamers who do. The ones that take on responsibility for creating innovation of any kind, within a business.”
— Gifford Pinchot

In our rapidly changing creative business environment, being innovative is a matter of survival.

More organizations employ “outside the box” thinkers, and a new breed of collaborative leaders celebrate inventive thinking.

Intrapreneurship has been around for many years. “Intrapreneur” is the morphing of “internal” and “entrepreneur. Developing a culture of intrapreneurial thinkers will add much value to any company.

Startups or In-House?

“Entrepreneurs start up and run their own companies, and intrapreneurs are responsible for innovating within an existing organization.” (1)

  • Startups can be risky, coming with many unknowns

  • Startups can renew enthusiasm though expensive

  • Growth can be safer and less costly in-house

  • Releasing influential creative thinkers in-house is transformational

Choosing entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial, or a combination of the two is a matter of your organization’s best fit.

Some Creative Contributions of Intrapreneurial Thinkers

“Highly creative people will naturally gravitate to consistently innovative organizations.”

Elizabeth Uviebinene noted, “Intrapreneurs are the people driving corporate change. Wise companies are encouraging creative staff to generate new and profitable ideas.”

Organizations that encourage employee creativity give space for new opportunities to develop in-house. Intrapreneurship has been behind some of the most world-changing inventions.

1. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs developed a think tank for Apple’s most creative people. That creative thinking produced the iMac and Macintosh computers. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad result from Steve Jobs’ intrapreneurial insight allowing innovative in-house product development.

2. Frequent Amazon shoppers are familiar with the 1-click purchase button; that simple tool increased Amazon’s sales by 5%! Peri Hartman, an Amazon programmer, was searching for a smoother seamless ordering system. Hartman’s idea was possible due to Amazon’s openness to intrapreneurial thinking.

Organizations that allow employee freedom to explore and develop their ideas in-house include;

  • Lockheed Martin

  • Texas Instruments

  • Google

  • Shutterstock

Unfortunately, many established organizations tend to favor the status quo. They confine themselves to their comfort zones because change can be too unsettling. However, organizations refusing to change will eventually lose their competitive edge or be forced to change by the mounting pressures of rapidly changing business cultures.

Developing an intrapreneurship culture

CEO Purvi Sheth says, “Intrapreneurship is effective in attracting and retaining talent. When individuals are given a chance to ideate, create and execute themselves, there is a lot more job satisfaction.”

More organizations are taking a fresh look at developing an intrapreneurial environment. Encouraging innovative thinking with a vision toward developing an Intrapreneurial culture will sharpen their competitive edge.

An intrapreneurial culture is a decidedly people-centric approach to business, allowing space for exploring and developing radical, innovative ideas in-house.

6 Thoughts About Creating an Intrapreneurial Environment

  • A slow, steady transition begins with recognizing intrapreneurial gifting among the personnel you already employ.

  • Learning a new managerial approach to handling intrapreneurial employees.

  • Understanding the temperaments of intrapreneurial employees who know the boundaries and still color outside the lines.

  • Understanding how your people like to work.

  • Learning what inspires and what motivates your people.

  • Knowing intrapreneurship pays off many times over in company growth, culture, and homegrown talent.

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”
— Peter F. Drucker

End Notes

(1) What is intrapreneurship, and why is it good for business?

(2) Recognizing The Value of an Intrapreneurial Environment ttps://

(3) Purvi Sheth How to create an intrapreneurial culture

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***

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