A recent University of Phoenix Workplace Survey had some interesting findings. It found nearly all of today’s working U.S. adults (a whopping 93 percent) feel that they have at least some entrepreneurial qualities. Also, that more than one-third (37 percent) of working adults consider themselves “intrapreneurs.” These are employees who look for opportunities to perform like entrepreneurs within their current organization. Plus, more than half (56 percent) acknowledge that their current job gives them the opportunity to utilize an entrepreneurial mindset.
“An intrapreneur is an employee who embraces an entrepreneurial mindset within an organization, also sometimes known as a ‘corporate entrepreneur.’ Intrapreneurs are professionals who instigate innovation and seize opportunities to enhance the firm’s strategy, product/service offerings, organizational processes, etc. They seek opportunities to improve how business is done from the inside-out, regardless of whether this is the primary responsibility of their position in the organization. Intrapraneurs are flexible and adept at operating in a dynamic and complex organizational environment,” explains Dr. Lena Rodriguez, program dean for the University of Phoenix School of Business.
Being able to flex their entrepreneurial skills also results in more satisfied employees, found the survey. Over 3 in 5 (61 percent) of those who said they were satisfied with their current position say their organization provides opportunities to be entrepreneurial. Of those who are unsatisfied with their career, only one-third (33 percent) said there were entrepreneurial opportunities in their organization.
“More and more working adults are identifying themselves as intrapreneurs because they are exercising their entrepreneurial spirit within their organizations. Organizations that foster an entrepreneurial culture report having more satisfied employees – in fact, 61 percent of those who are satisfied with their current job say their organization provides opportunities to be entrepreneurial. Promoting a culture of entrepreneurship is a win-win proposition for the employee and the employer. The employee feels a sense of pride and ownership in the organization when they contribute to the success of their organization, and the organization benefits by capitalizing on the creative talents of their employees,” explains Rodriguez. “The University of Phoenix believes that having an entrepreneurial mindset may lead to an increase in job satisfaction because it cultivates a feeling of pride and ownership and impact on the bottom line of an organization. Intrapreneurs position themselves as problem-solvers and leaders in the organization, which could lead to increased opportunities for career advancement.”
Having intrapreneurs on staff can help companies. “Companies stand to benefit greatly from ‘entrepreneurial’ culture,” says Rodriguez. “Intrapreneurs invest in the success of their company beyond their individual achievements and identify creative solutions to address organizational needs. They are proactive agents continuously looking for opportunities to grow within their career through innovation, self-renewal, and new business venturing. In short, intrapreneurs benefit companies by bringing creative new ideas and innovation to the table. When properly cultivated and embraced, employers can derive tremendous benefit from employees with entrepreneurial ambitions.”
There are ways businesses can foster a more entrepreneurial culture in the workplace. Among them, according to the study’s findings are: encourage creative thinking and suggestions (36 percent); offer compensation opportunities for successful “intrapreneurs” (29 percent); brainstorm to address organizational challenges (25 percent); share the company vision and goals with all employees (25 percent); encourage involvement in projects outside day-to-day tasks (24 percent); and promote risk-taking where failure is accepted (22 percent).
The survey polled nearly 1,000 U.S. working adults.