Intrapreneurial Mindset and Resilience

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Intrapreneurial Mindset and Resilience

However, to truly embrace intrapreneurship, individuals must also possess certain characteristics and an intrapreneurial mindset. This mindset is characterized by a proactive approach to challenges, a willingness to embrace change, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. In this article, we’ll explore what these traits are and how they contribute to a resilient, intrapreneurial mindset, which is essential for driving business growth and staying competitive in a constantly evolving market.

What is Intrapreneurship?


by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 (

Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur within an established organization, taking risks and thinking outside the box to drive innovation and growth. This concept was first popularized by management consultant Gifford Pinchot III in the 1980s, and has since been adopted by companies such as Google, 3M, and Virgin. It allows for the agility and fresh perspective of entrepreneurship while leveraging the resources and stability of a larger organization.

Intrapreneurs are individuals who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, but choose to apply it within the structure of an existing organization rather than starting their own business. They are driven by a desire to create positive change and are willing to take calculated risks to achieve their goals. Often, these are the employees who volunteer for new projects, propose unconventional solutions, and are not afraid to question the way things have always been done.

Benefits of Intrapreneurship

Intrapreneurship offers numerous benefits to both individuals and organizations. For individuals, it provides a sense of ownership, autonomy, and the opportunity to make a significant impact within a company. It also allows individuals to develop new skills and take on leadership roles. Being an intrapreneur can accelerate personal growth and career development as it often requires a diverse set of skills ranging from project management to effective communication.

For organizations, intrapreneurship can lead to increased innovation, better problem-solving, and a more engaged workforce. By fostering an intrapreneurial culture, companies can stay ahead of their competition and adapt to changes in the market more quickly. It can also help organizations attract and retain top talent who seek dynamic work environments where they can make a difference.

Characteristics of Intrapreneurship

While anyone can be an intrapreneur, there are certain characteristics that are commonly found in individuals who possess an intrapreneurial mindset. These characteristics include:

  • Creativity and Innovation: Intrapreneurs are able to think creatively and come up with new ideas and solutions to problems. They are not afraid to challenge the status quo and are constantly seeking ways to improve and innovate. Their ability to envision what could be, rather than just what is, allows them to drive progress and inspire others.
  • Risk-Taking: Intrapreneurs are comfortable with taking calculated risks and are not deterred by the possibility of failure. They understand that taking risks is necessary for growth and are willing to learn from their mistakes. A true intrapreneur knows how to evaluate the potential rewards and downsides of their actions and make informed decisions.
  • Adaptability: Intrapreneurs are adaptable and able to navigate change and uncertainty. They are open to new ideas and are quick to pivot when necessary. Their flexibility allows them to respond effectively to market trends, customer needs, and internal shifts within their organization.
  • Resilience: Intrapreneurs are resilient and able to bounce back from setbacks. They view failures as learning opportunities and use them to fuel their drive for success. Resilience also means maintaining a positive outlook and staying focused on long-term goals even when faced with short-term obstacles.
  • Passion and Drive: Intrapreneurs are passionate about their work and are driven to make a positive impact. They are self-motivated and have a strong sense of purpose. This inner drive propels them to go above and beyond in their roles and strive for excellence in their endeavors.
  • Collaboration: Intrapreneurs understand the importance of collaboration and are able to work effectively in a team. They are able to communicate their ideas and inspire others to join their cause. They also recognize the value of diverse perspectives and the strength that comes from combining different areas of expertise.

Building an Intrapreneurial Mindset

While some people may naturally possess an intrapreneurial mindset, it is also a skill that can be developed and nurtured. Here are some ways to cultivate an intrapreneurial mindset:

1. Encourage Risk-Taking


by Manny Moreno (

In order for intrapreneurship to thrive, individuals must feel comfortable with taking risks. Encouraging and supporting calculated risk-taking can help individuals develop their intrapreneurial mindset. This can be done through rewards and recognition for innovative ideas, as well as creating a safe space for individuals to share their ideas without fear of judgment. Companies can implement programs or incentives that specifically reward bold thinking and experimentation.

2. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Development

Organizations should provide opportunities for individuals to develop new skills and take on new challenges. This not only helps individuals grow, but also allows them to apply their skills and knowledge in new ways, promoting innovation and creativity. Personal development plans, mentorship programs, and cross-functional projects are excellent ways to encourage continuous learning and skill-building.

3. Foster a Culture of Collaboration

Intrapreneurship is not a solo endeavor – it requires collaboration and teamwork. By fostering a culture of collaboration, individuals are encouraged to share their ideas and work together to bring them to fruition. This can include setting up cross-departmental teams, facilitating networking events, or using collaborative tools and platforms to connect people across the organization.

4. Celebrate Failure

Celebrating failure

by Marcel Strauß (

One of the key characteristics of intrapreneurship is resilience. To foster this trait, organizations should celebrate failures and view them as learning opportunities. This helps individuals develop a growth mindset and encourages them to take risks without fear of failure. Emphasizing the process of experimentation and learning rather than just the outcome can create a more resilient and innovative culture.

Intrapreneurship in Action: Examples

There are numerous examples of successful intrapreneurship programs in various industries. Here are just a few:

Google’s 20% Time

Google’s “20% time” policy allows employees to spend 20% of their work time on projects outside of their assigned role. This has resulted in the creation of some of Google’s most popular products, such as Gmail and Google Maps. The policy embodies the company’s commitment to innovation and provides a structured way for employees to explore and develop their own ideas.

3M’s Innovation Time Off

3M’s “Innovation Time Off” program allows employees to spend 15% of their time working on projects outside of their regular job responsibilities. This has led to the development of some of 3M’s most successful products, such as Post-it Notes and Scotch Tape. The program demonstrates how allowing employees the freedom to experiment can lead to significant breakthroughs.

Virgin’s “Intrapreneurial Bootcamp”

Virgin’s “Intrapreneurial Bootcamp” is a program that allows employees to pitch their business ideas to Richard Branson himself. If the idea is approved, the employee is given the resources and support to bring their idea to life within the company. This initiative showcases the potential of empowering employees to act as change agents within the organization.

Bringing it All Together

Intrapreneurship is a powerful concept that allows companies to harness the creativity and drive of their employees to stay ahead of the curve. By fostering an intrapreneurial culture and providing opportunities for individuals to develop an intrapreneurial mindset, organizations can drive innovation and growth.

So, whether you’re an employee looking to make a positive impact within your company, or an organization looking to stay competitive and adapt to change, embracing intrapreneurship and developing an intrapreneurial mindset is key. It’s about creating an environment where proactive problem-solving, strategic risk-taking, and collaborative efforts are not just encouraged but are a part of the daily working life. It’s this kind of environment that will pave the way for future innovation and success.