5 Steps To Intrapreneurship

5 Steps To Intrapreneurship


Every organisation is attempting to future-proof themselves through this period of disruption. For example, many industries will be heavily impacted by the introduction of technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation.

Every organisation knows that something innovative and game-changing needs to be done – but few can think of practical ways to start on the path to reinventing a long-standing business.

It may be you sitting within the organisation who sees things differently and can identify those opportunities. However, we often hold the belief that no-one will listen to us or take us seriously and often keep those game-changing ideas to ourselves.

But what if we didn’t? What if we took the steps to try and implement those ideas?

Related: Branson: Know When To Quit Your Day Job

Here are some steps to guide you on your journey…

Step 1: Don’t complain

We all go through phases where we have a bad day and want to complain – that’s human, but don’t make complaining a habit. If you are faced with a situation where you think to yourself “why do we do things this way, it would be so much better if we did it that way…” – that is the gold.

While others continue to complain you should take it upon yourself to find the solution.

Frustrations and problems are just opportunities waiting for the right person to come along and solve them.

Step 2: Don’t be afraid


You need to be confident in your abilities and demonstrate your capability to others.  Put your hand up and volunteer for new innovative projects even when you may not be 100% qualified – nobody ever ticks all the boxes.  Sometimes the right attitude and willingness to learn is all that is needed.

Don’t second-guess yourself.  If you continuously shed doubt on whether or not you can achieve something – those around will also start to believe you can’t and think twice before involving you in something new or forward-thinking.

Present yourself as someone who is willing to take risks, learn and be involved.

Step 3: Be proactive

Take it upon yourself to identify and pursue opportunities within the business.  Don’t just sit back and wait to be told what to do.  Look beyond your job title and description.

Related: How to Persuade Your Boss to Fund Your Business Idea

Think much bigger than your assigned role – think about things like the impact of exponential technology (for example, distributed ledger technology) on the core business model of the organisation. How can you be part of the solution to keeping the organisation relevant in the long run?

Identify ways that you can contribute to the organisation in a meaningful way – and then take action on those ideas.

Step 4: Speak with confidence


When communicating your ideas – be assertive and certain in your speech and tone.  Avoid words like:

  • “might”,
  • “I think” and
  • “maybe”.

If you speak with confidence, you will instil that confidence in those around you.

If you speak in uncertain terms, others will also begin to doubt your ideas and abilities.

Step 5: Be bold

Submit a proposal directly to the CEO.  When interacting with senior managers or executives – talk about your ideas to change the business for the better.

It will always be easier to gain traction to implement any of your ideas when you have buy-in from the top. There will always be a lot of red-tape involved in executing any proposal in a large organisation, but if you win the support of the right people it will be easier to gain the desired traction.

Note of caution: if it is a major money making idea, you may want to consider asking for a stake in the outcome before handing over the idea.

Be creative.  Find the opportunity.  Implement your solution.

Nerushka Bowan
Nerushka is an emerging technology law specialist, legal technology innovator and speaker. She is a co-chair of the Johannesburg chapter of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. She has a background working as a technology & privacy lawyer, and business development manager for technology and innovation, for an international law firm and has work experience in both London and Melbourne. She uses her unique experience and forward looking mindset to identify future risks and ask the legal and ethical questions brought about by emerging technology, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics. To find out more visit nerushkabowan.com. and follow her on Twitter @NerushkaBowan.