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In this, the third in a series of guest posts for Procurement Leaders from Giles Breault and Sammy Rashed of The Beyond Group, we investigate the journey that anyone seeking to become and internal entrepreneur, that is an intrapreneur, must tread.
We tried in our first post to set the stage for this journey by first describing the critical essence of intrapreneurialism that we believe must be present in order to sustain the momentum of this transformation. In our second blog we set forth our proposition that any move down the path of intrapreneurialism starts with a disruption of self: the recognition that individuals are at the core of the journey and that this often means breaking away from the tried and true.
But to introduce properly this next blog we must back up a bit. Separately the authors have all become entrepreneurs within the last several years. Early on, each of us made it a point to connect with and speak to as many entrepreneurs as we could before we began the daunting journey down the path of personal independence and business leadership. Now that we have lived through what it means to transition from being executives to entrepreneurs, we can write our own experiences into the chronicle of guidance we got some years ago.
But “wait a minute” you say, “this blog is about becoming an intrapreneur within a company context and not an entrepreneur, why tell me about entrepreneurship?” And to that we say, that is the essence of this blog.
Some years ago we put together an infographic of the Entrepreneur's journey (download that here) and as we reviewed it in the light of sparking this spirit within people who still work in large companies we realised that the journey to become an intrapreneur is nearly the same as that of an entrepreneur.
Certainly there are some differences; as an entrepreneur you are working without a safety net and failure can doom a whole venture, and as an intrapreneur you can face politics and internal constraints that are greater, but the fact remains that an entrepreneur can exist within a company.
We have no proprietary lock on all the answers but our experience across many companies and organisations have given each of us a first-person view of that journey and hopefully these combined insights may be of use.
So lets begin with what we call the 'Entrepreneurs' Roadmap' and how you can get on the road. We present the entire roadmap without deeper explanation and while we think these are the foundation of both intrapreneurialism and entrepreneurialism, we encourage you to think how they apply to the case of an intrapreneur. We will be talking much more about these steps later in this blog series.
Phase 1 - Catalyse (start with disrupting yourself)
Define Your Purpose
- Are you ready to be an entrepreneur, and “work 80 hours per week to avoid working 40?”
- Assess your motivation, capacity and stamina required
- Conduct interviews, exchange and feedback with experienced seniors that can provide insight and guidance
- Evaluate your readiness for a bold change.
Assess Your Assets
- Understand your career assets stockpile: skills, tools, and capabilities
- Understand your character assets: passions, strengths and aspirations
- Gain full knowledge of your own state-of-being and get critical feedback from selected partners.
Define your Projects
- Begin to assemble the first picture of several new commercially viable endeavors, reflecting on past achievements, current capabilities, future desires
- Assemble “evaluators” list that provide critical assessment of each idea. Seek input from coaches and peers
Phase 2 - Accelerate (put your future into high gear)
Validate Your Projects
- Business/project propositions are evaluated against success criteria, as well as critical feedback from “Evaluators”
- Hone your value proposition based on Evaluators input (repeat)
Brand Yourself And Your Program
- Develop your personal story; Understanding the difference between a sales pitch and your brand
- Develop a concept for your “Brand” and use evaluator feedback
- Access the market to imprint that brand and use of social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogging, etc.) and other business connectivity tools
Share Your Ideas
- Develop a marketing plan for the new venture evaluating various media to “spread the word”.
- Leveraged use of Connectors / Multipliers; Mavens/Reinforcers; Sales/Accelerators
- Focus on how you will deliver what you promised
Phase 3 - Launch your future (Start delivering on the promise)
- You have developed your business ideas, you have validated what and how you will accomplish those goals and made sure that you have created a personal brand that will be tied to how you chose to change the game.
- You must now take on the leadership to drive those projects towards a successful conclusion. We will also discuss this in much greater length soon.
Well there you have it – the entrepreneurial journey that not only represents an amalgam of our own experience and that of countless others, but will almost certainly approximate what you will need to do even if you are leading a revolution from within as an intrapreneur.
Stay with us as in our next blog we will begin to directly address one of the most important parts of this journey and that is creating your personal brand. We hope to bring insight from many professionals whom we have met and who have done just that.
Giles is executive coach & advisor to innovative companies, executives and individuals providing leadership, knowledge, and experience across a spectrum of business activities including; global procurement function leadership, productivity, and business services.
Sammy Rashed is a career-long intrapreneur who created every one of his roles over 25 years experience, ultimately making the leap to become an entrepreneur. He now focuses on his productivity advisor, procurement strategist, and developer of future leaders roles.
This contributed article has been written by a guest writer at the invitation of Procurement Leaders. Procurement Leaders received no payment directly connected with the publishing of this content.