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5 Ways to Identify Intrapreneurs in Your Organisation

5 Ways to Identify Intrapreneurs in Your Organisation
What's new: K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020 for Australian/New Zealand Startups! More information here.

5 Ways to Identify Intrapreneurs in Your Organisation

Large organisations are beginning to invest in innovation - usually this takes the form of idea contests, hackathons, incubation programs and intrapreneur programs.Ā 

However, identifying the right fit employees can be a challenge.

While the idea of being part of an innovation program might sound sexy to almost everybody initially, it requires a particular type of person to generate the most value out of such a program and stay the course. I'm talking about the intrapreneur - an entrepreneurial thinker and doer, within a large organsiation.

So how does one go about finding such talent? I've identified five ways that I've seen work successfully below.

1 - Intrapreneur Hunt

If youā€™re on the lookout for entrepreneurs within your organisation, you need to identify people who not only find the idea of entrepreneurship compelling, but also characterise entrepreneurial behaviours and spirit. For more on what these behaviours areĀ click here. Ā 

A funnel approach, often used by marketing and sales, can be applied to finding suitable entrepreneurial talent by evaluating their engagement in an innovating vetting campaign.

The funnel might look something like the following.

Step 1Ā - Place posters around the office promoting a new mysterious program with limited but innovation suggesting copy - think ā€œGamechangers Wantedā€ or something to that effect. ā€œEmailĀ 

This will pique the interest of a pool of people interested in both doing things above and beyond the realm of their existing role and people who seek change rather than run from it.

Step 2Ā - Send employees who expressed interest a short activity to complete This could take the form of a survey, an open-ended questionnaire and so on. The activity should take long enough (say 15-30 minutes) to complete in order to foster engagement by those not only expressing interest to go above and beyond, but those that actually spend some time demonstrating this behaviour.

Step 3Ā - Interview people who completed the survey and assess them against criteria,Ā found here, in order to bring the number down to your desired number of participants.

2 - Psychometric Testing

Psychometric testing can help to identify personality traits that are synonymous with entrepreneurship. The Psychometric Project, a UK-based open source psychometric resource, evaluates people based on the following attributes:

  1. Achievement Striving, which refers to an individualā€™s intrinsic motivation and efficiency of work completion.
  2. IndustriousnessĀ is considered to be an indicator of levels of persistence and hardiness, the ability to overcome difficulties and to remain functional in stressful situations.
  3. PassionĀ refers to oneā€™s enthusiasm, personal commitment to achieving goals and extent to which they will go in order to get ahead.
  4. Taking ControlĀ is linked to how far the individual believes themselves to have control over a situation and its outcomes, thus affecting their perception of positive and negative events.
  5. CreativityĀ is indicative of how effectively one might generate new ideas, which is vital to an entrepreneur wishing to establish themselves within a niche market.

Check out thisĀ 50 itemĀ test to test your own entrepreneurial nous.

3 - Social Media Stalking

Entrepreneurs are a curious, inquisitive bunch and subconsciously connect the dots between broad and unrelated interests - this is often referred to as ā€˜associational thinkingā€™. As such, most entrepreneurs arenā€™t content with the status quo when it comes to news sources, books, music, television, film, art and so on.

It only takes a few seconds to identify candidates online, privacy settings permitting, and ā€˜stalkā€™ their interests.

Do they seem to have a penchant for top 40 music only and whatever is trending on free to air reality television or have they demonstrated an interest in not so easily accessible media and opinions? Do they follow influencers of note on LinkedIn or is their profile blank and does their Twitter account suggest they spend more time following the Kardashians than they do the Elon Musks of the world? If so, they are more likely to not take things on face value, challenge the status quo and go hunting in search of answers to problems that most people donā€™t acknowledge.

If I was evaluating somebodyā€™s fit for an innovation project purely based on musical taste, Iā€™d take an Iron Maiden fan over a Taylor Swift fan any day...no offence to the Taylor Swift fans reading this!

4 - Startup Experience

This is particularly true of Gen Y employees. As the name suggests, identify existing employees who have embarked upon or are currently working on a startup outside of business hours. This is perhaps one of the most demonstrable and valuable indicators you can find of entrepreneurial thinking and doing.

5 - Routinely Challenges the Status Quo

I know these guys well...I used to be one.

At a number of previous employers, I often put decks together outlining problems with existing processes or systems and what opportunities existed for improvement. Unfortunately, these flawed processes werenā€™t limited to the way that decision makers got incentivised so the buck often stopped there.

However, truly entrepreneurial people will find it difficult to hold back and accept things as they are - they will either grow disgruntled and unproductive, leave to join more progressive companies or start their own.

It should be easy to identify these people if youā€™re a middle manager or decision maker in a company - they tend to be the most vocal about not adhering to ā€œthe way things have always been done around hereā€ mantra and tend not to shy away from change management efforts.

To find out how I can help you identify intrapreneurs and run innovation programs at your company, get in touch.

2021 K-Startup Grand Challenge

Collective Campus has recently partnered with the K-Startup Grand Challenge 2021 to support them in connecting with the Australian/NZ Startup ecosystem. Australian startups interested in expanding business in Asia are strongly encouraged to apply!

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In this ebook, we bring you an overview of the history of professional sports, how technology and business model innovations are changing the game, and what organisations can do to best adapt to these changes.

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Josh Li

Digital marketing, startup and events dude.

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