What exactly does an intrapreneur do?
From my point of view, the intrapreneur fulfils two essential tasks: the development and implementation of innovative problem solutions.
Through his development competence, the intrapreneur “dreams” of creative and “creastupid” ideas to solve a concrete customer problem. What do I mean by “creastupid”? A supposedly “stupid” or “bad” idea can be the cousin of a good idea, which in turn is the neighbour of an excellent idea. It simply has to be allowed, even wanted, to think in all directions with all kinds of creativity techniques in order to come up with completely new ideas. In the ideal case, a radically new product is developed that has nothing at all to do with the existing range, or a disruptive business model that completely turns entire markets or even one’s own company upside down (revolutionary innovation).
But it is just as good and important to optimise existing products or services, i.e. to make them faster, better or cheaper, in order to increase profitability. This is where every intrapreneur can make a valuable contribution in his current working environment (evolutionary innovation). Whether evolutionary or revolutionary innovation is desired depends on the management.
In the course of implementation, a number of exciting projects crystallize from the pool of ideas, which are then tested in the market by means of prototyping. What counts most here is the speed with which the demand and feedback from customers can be tested with really rudimentary prototypes. After several feedback loops, it becomes clear whether the feasibility or the potential for a corresponding success is given. The subsequent decision to actually implement or discontinue an idea is the most difficult question to be answered by an intrapreneur together with his team and the management.
Normally, the intrapreneur implements his own ideas, but he may as well professionally implement already existing ideas until they are ready for the market.
In a nutshell, I believe that the intrapreneur’s area of responsibility starts with the development of an idea and basically ends with the scaling of the business idea once it is ready for the market.
Let’s make the world #intrapreneurfit!