“Intrapreneurs” – named the most in-demand skill of 2020
A few months ago, it would have seemed impossible. A motor manufacturer making ventilators. A fragrance brand producing hand sanitiser. Or a luxury fashion firm sewing scrubs.
Businesses across the globe have demonstrated an incredible ability to pivot on the head of a pin and change out entire manufacturing and distribution processes in the space of a few short weeks in response to the Covid-19 crisis – and it is procurement and supply chain professionals who are helping to make this happen.
That’s because many of them are “intrapreneurs” – which was named the most in-demand skill of 2020 at the start of the new decade. Who would have predicted back in January, that being an intrapreneur would become even more essential in just a few short months?
Being able to think outside the box and come up with solutions to problems that didn’t even exist a few months ago, is going to help to change the way organisations respond to this unprecedented crisis.
Prolonged decision-making in slow-moving risk-averse corporations has no place in a post-Coronavirus world.
Today it is even more vital to be more nimble and agile – adapting quickly to identify opportunities just like an entrepreneur (although in this case it’s to do good rather than boost profits).
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS AN INTRAPRENEUR?
If you are not sure what the term ‘intrapreneur’ actually means, don’t worry – you are not alone. Nearly nine in ten people polled found the term a complete mystery.
So, here goes…
Intrapreneurial describes someone who “thinks and acts” like an entrepreneur but who works “in” an organization rather than for themselves.
In simple terms they see new opportunities and then take advantage of them. And that’s why they are in such high demand.
Procurement is at the forefront of much of the current innovation – supply chains have been disrupted, borders closed, logistics are a nightmare and yet, procurement professionals are finding new solutions… and quickly.
Forget months or years waiting for answers, procurement professionals are having to identify opportunities and solutions and then innovate even if this involves an element of risk. They are trying new things to see what works. The adapting when they do. In other words, they are having to become entrepreneurial.
THE GOOD NEWS IS YOU ARE PROBABLY ONE
Two in three people possess intrapreneurialism as a skill according to recruiters Michael Page which complies the annual top 100 most in-demand skills list. So, the chance are… you are one of them (even though you may not know it).
How do you know for sure? Well, are you the sort of person who is brimming with ideas and takes ownership of your own success and that of your organization? In effect, you see it as your job (even if it isn’t) to make things happen and bring about change.
Day-to-day, this is how an intrapreneur approaches their role.
- Is great at identifying opportunities – in this respect the intrapreneur is treating their organisation as their own business and looking for ways to grow it.
- Is proactive – again this is about ownership. Instead of doing the same things in the same ways, you will be the type of person who thinks of new ways of working or introduces new ideas – before being asked.
- Is not afraid to challenge the status quo – if something is not working, you are the sort of person who is brave enough to speak up and put themselves on the line to bring about change. This is more than being proactive, it is about risk taking (a trait that is highly entrepreneurial).
- Is resilient when things do not go to plan – you will be the sort of person who is prepared to learn from trial and error and accept that some ideas might fail, but you do not give up and instead bounce back with other ideas.
- Is a brilliant collaborator – bringing about change or challenging the status quo is not easy (particularly if this is not your role), so you will be great at bringing people on board. Your ability to build relationships and enthuse others will ensure you get things done.
- Is great at thinking outside of the box – this is a mindset that goes beyond being innovative. Entrepreneurs succeed because they can see opportunities that others don’t.
- Is prepared to trust their instincts – entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs need a strong sense of self-belief to push ahead with their ideas and overcome any set-backs.
Why would an organization want an intrapreneur?
Now this is where you might think there is a dichotomy. Afterall, entrepreneurs are risk-takers, free-thinkers and mavericks who want to take ownership of their own business – and these are traits that do not sit well in a corporate culture. After all, you don’t own the business and you have to report to someone higher up.
Well, Nick Kirk, managing director of Michael Page (which identified Intrapreneur as the No.1 skill for 2020), disagrees saying, “Great employees are those who are invested in the company and want to help it improve, which in turn enables them to create a working environment that they enjoy, so it’s a win-win scenario.
“Intrapreneurship may sound like a daunting term, but at base level, it refers to that person who is willing to go the extra mile to improve their workplace.”
And that is exactly what organisations need right now. So whenever you demonstrate your intrapreneurial abilities, make sure you shout about it and promote your achievements on your Procurious profile… you have a skill that is in high demand.
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