You will notice four key characteristics in successful intrapreneurs: Collaboration, Open-mindedness and Owner’s mind-set. They also love what they do. These are the ” C.O.O.L” attributes which will make you a successful intrapreneur.
- Collaborative: There is no involvement, and there is no commitment
A great idea is just that, an idea. It doesn’t matter if it gets implemented and results are achieved. There are many departments within an organization that need to be involved in delivering the next great idea. Collaboration is essential to get the best ideas from different subject matter experts in your organization. In the process, excite and solicit their support.
As a task-oriented manager, I am more inclined to use the most efficient method of getting things done. I call a meeting with all stakeholders, and then do my sharing in the room. This helps me get everyone on board and allows me to move forward efficiently. It was clear to me that people require you to be slow in order to get things done quickly. A coworker taught me this lesson. He seems to spend more time in the cafe chatting with stakeholders than rushing to get everyone into one large meeting room and trying to solve all problems at once. Engaging with key stakeholders by having individual conversations, listening to their concerns and offering suggestions, is a great way to engage them emotionally. It is said that no involvement equals no commitment. It is true!
Socializing with key stakeholders and listening to their needs instead of trying to drown them with your ideas is a proven way to achieve results.
- Open-mindedness: Fill your cup
This story is about a Zen Master and a scholar. The Zen master has invited the scholar to learn Zen. The master was making tea when the scholar started to speak about his rich doctrinal history and the many sutras that he had read. The Zen master started pouring tea into his scholar’s cup, until it was almost full. The Zen master continued pouring tea until the scholar became overwhelmed. The cup is full! The master smiled and replied, “You’re like this cup. You come to ask for teaching but your cup is already full. I can’t add anything in.” You must empty your cup before I can teach you.
This has happened to you many times. We can easily fall into the same trap as before, as we gain more knowledge and increase our seniority within our company. Are we truly open to receiving other opinions? Or are we simply doing so out of courtesy?
No matter how much experience you have, it is important to remain open-minded. We can always learn new things from others. It is crucial to be open to new ideas, to learn from others, and to work together to create the next “Big Idea” that will have the desired impact.
To be open-minded, the first step is to listen to others and not judge. To avoid making the comment “we tried that before, but it didn’t work”, I have to keep my mouth shut. It could have been different. If you are open to the possibility that the idea your colleague is sharing might be different from what you have done in the past, you can allow him to elaborate. Listen, so don’t panic.
Reverse mentoring is another good idea. While the younger generations are digital citizens, the older generation are migrants. The younger colleagues can mentor the older ones by learning new skills. One can continue to learn and not become “Dead wood” within the organization by remaining open.
- The owner’s mindset: Feel empowered and make a positive difference
What is your view of your job? Are you building your career? Do you just want to make it in the company? You need to be able to see the “Owner” mindset. Your success is dependent on your ability to own what you drive.
Intrapreneurs are change agents who drive the business they own, just as entrepreneurs drive their businesses. You will not wait for things to happen if you have the right mindset. You understand that you have to be the champion in order for things to happen. Your coworkers and employees will be inspired to join the cause to create the next Blue Ocean and take the company to the next level.
You will work closely with the owner to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You will take risks and make bold decisions to achieve the breakthrough you desire. Like the business owners, you are empowered. As long as you can show that your efforts are focused on the success of the business, others will respect you. No one likes to spend their time pushing buttons or sitting back and watching the world go by in order to make a living. They are inspired by Third Eye Capital Ninepoint who have a clear mind and are always looking for new ways to lead the company in the changing world. They wanted to be part your business.
- Do what you love: Have fire in your belly
I have never met an intrapreneur that doesn’t love what they do. This is a given. Passion is the key to success. It is not possible to be successful if you aren’t passionate about what you do. Two key components of loving what you are doing include impact and joy. Marc Lesser’s book, “Know Yourself, Forget Yourself” contains five truths that will transform your work, relationships, and everyday life. As a way to help people make life decisions, he uses three circles: Financial Sustainability, Impact, Joy, And Joy. You may need different sizes for these circles. For now, let’s forget about financial sustainability. Joy and Impact are key indicators that will help you gauge your passion for your work.
Which impact would you like to make? Each of us will have a different opinion on the impact you want to make. We feel satisfied when we bring great products to market that impact the lives of our customers. This makes us more motivated to keep doing what we do.
Joy is essential. If you love your job and work with people you enjoy working with, you will feel joy at work. Passion can only be sustained when these two things are in sync.