While most individuals would not consider themselves entrepreneurs, understanding the way that an entrepreneur thinks and approaches new ideas and opportunities is an easy way to stand apart from your peers. This understanding is the building block to corporate entrepreneurship within an organization. Corporate entrepreneurship is when an individual or group of individuals pursue a new idea or opportunity within a large organization to provide additional efficiencies or revenue streams. Essentially, maintaining growth and innovation within an organization. In the fast paced global marketplace we live in today, remaining efficient and innovative is crucial for any organization to succeed and why corporate entrepreneurship and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset is so important.
So what is so different about the way entrepreneurs think and approach the world?
Entrepreneurs consider the world creatively as to understand where unique opportunities lie. Additionally, they are fast moving and analytical in their evaluation of new possibilities. An entrepreneur isn't afraid of starting the process of working towards a new idea to only drop that idea if it becomes apparent it is not as profitable as initially suspected.
While this creative mindset is ideal for entrepreneurs and innovators, it has often been discouraged for the majority of our lives. First while in school, and then within our organizations. It is drilled into our heads that we have to conform to the expectations or to suffer the consequences. This type of rigidity and unwillingness to change is the opposite environment than one that will foster corporate entrepreneurship. This is why more and more innovative businesses are taking note and making strategies to allow their employees to think creatively. At Google, employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Other corporations might make broad strategy statements to their teams with the direction to form their own ideas to work towards those goals.
Within the somewhat constraint of the business also comes a level of protection for ideas to fail. This is why when focusing on a new idea or opportunity within an organization it is important to define metrics for success up front. These metrics will keep your project on track and should be evaluated weekly so as to ensure this opportunity is still showing a value to the organization. If you are able to successfully pursue a new opportunity for your corporation that merits either an additional revenue stream or a major cost efficiency, those above will take notice of you as a leader for potential promotions. It is not always typical for those at a company to stand out with an entrepreneurial mindset so understanding the above and working to think more creatively will only be of benefit to your future career goals.