Entrepreneurs are people that have an idea and then invest money into that idea for the hopes of making a profit. Probably the simplest way we can describe it! Some characteristics that come to mind are;
Entrepreneurs take the lion’s share of risk and a lot of sleepless nights, either trying to get their idea to market or keep the business running when times get rough. They gave up the comfort of a secure life in a job to move forward with their idea and hopefully make a large enough profit to retire.
This is where things get lost for us as a business consulting group. Yes, you can train a person a specific task of a position in a company, but to have the entrepreneurial spirit defined as an intrapreneur is where we get confused. By labelling someone as an intrapreneur, we have seen it time and time again that staff start to think that they are running the place and able to take the same risks as an owner/entrepreneur, which is not the case.
For well over 90% of the companies we worked for as an employee over the years, owners allow you to take risks, but those risks need to be vetted through the owner and then the owner decides. It should! As an entrepreneur, you move forward based on your strategy map. To follow up on the characteristics above for an entrepreneur, we have placed them below as well and changed the notes towards an intrapreneur.
Maybe, an intrapreneur is the new buzz word to keep people engaged and wanting to stay at a company. There are many companies that start today because of the economy, so if a business can label you as an intrapreneur you will stay longer?
The way we see it and explain it to staff and owners we consult with is that labels are not needed. If you treat people accordingly based on the position at a company, have open forums for communication and allow others to speak and act freely, you won’t need labels to keep people around. Communicate, train, be loyal, be trustworthy and so on.