5 Great Reasons to Become A Social Intrapreneur

If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life." - Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnb

Yes indeed, you have read that correctly; it is no spelling mistake! Today we are talking about why you should think about trying to become a social intrapreneur. But before we talk about the benefits of getting in to it, perhaps we should pick apart what one of these actually is!

What is A Social Intrapreneur?

Let’s begin with the term ‘intrapreneur’. Yes, it is a derivative of the word ‘entrepreneur’. The difference between the two is that the term ‘entrepreneur’ refers to a solo venture, a person trying to make an idea, product or solution come to fruition with them at the helm. An ‘intrapreneur’, however, is slightly different. This referrers to a person with entrepreneurial desires and skills, who is already employed by a company. The intrapreneur helps the company to find solutions, develop products and reach goals by utilising their unique talents and points of view.

Now, the ‘Social Intrapreneur’. This refers to an intrapreneur with a much more specific aim and purpose. Social intrapreneurs not only help to create profit for the company, but they do so whilst aiming to help the employer meet their sustainability quotas. They are also focused on ensuring that the company creates good value for customers and finds lasting solutions that help to support communities. Traditional business models are fast going out of style as many move towards more ecological or customer focused ideals. It is harder and harder to stand out from the crowd in established markets, and there are so many mysteries still to be solved about how to operate in new markets; it is believed that social intrapreneurs are hugely impactful when tackling these challenges.

So, why should you consider offering your services to this kind of role?

An Opportunity for Personal Growth and Recognition

To be an intrapreneur is to solve problems. In order to solve problems, you must be committed to research, to building professional relationships and to be patient. To truly innovate you must naturally grow as a person, learning new social skills and widening your horizons of knowledge and influence. Intrapreneur initiatives offer those who may feel stuck or underutilised a real opportunity to grow in a way that is much more fluid than the traditional hierarchical, ladder claiming structure of many traditional businesses. It is also an opportunity to let yourself shine. To show your employer what you can really offer, and to potentially move into a career trajectory that truly inspires and excites you.

An Opportunity to Promote Community and Teamwork

The social intrapreneur not only helps to support the communities directly affected by the company for which they work, but also has an opportunity to create connections within the workplace. Innovation and problem solving requires teamwork, communication, compromise, and a range of different points of view. This kind of role is integral in creating an open environment and collective goal seeking. Many companies are trying to encourage their employees to become social intrapreneurs in order to shake up their team dynamics and broaden influences and pools of experience. It is a way of creating teamwork and mutual business support, whilst also benefiting the prospects of the business as a whole.

An Opportunity for Innovation

Many of the traditional business systems currently in place are losing relevance. What many executives and management teams struggle with is that they have risen to the top through a system that is not really working any more, for the customer or the company. This is your opportunity to help your company to break down and rebuild systems, products and protocols, for the benefit of all. Your angle may be just the curve ball they need to incite real, relevant and effective change.

An Opportunity for Creativity

Creativity, sadly, is not a requirement for a great many jobs. If you feel that your creativity is raring to go, hungry for an opportunity to exercise itself, then becoming a social intrapreneur is just the thing. Creativity and imagination are the foundations of such a role.

An Opportunity for Real Change

In an ever more competitive marketplace (a label that can be attached to virtually every industry) that is striving for not only success in business, but also to adhere to the fast-developing need for ecological and social conscience, this is an opportunity to be part of real, important change. For companies to recognise this, and to invite diversity and new ideas from within the company, in the form of social intrapreneurs, is a huge deal. A very positive move for young professionals and for the healthy development of a more widely conscious marketplace. If the opportunity comes at you… grab it with both hands.

By Chris Thomson

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