Are you an intrapreneur? 11 questions you can ask to help become one!

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The concept here is that even though you are working for a company, an entrepreneurial spirit and mentality can help you find opportunities to save money, improve processes, or increase revenue.

Dictionary.com describes an intrapreneur as “a person who while remaining within a larger organization uses entrepreneurial skills to develop a new product or line of business as a subsidiary of the organization”. In essence, this type of person is an agent of change, the architect of new markets, the creator of new company revenue streams, and, if successful, an employee on the professional fast track.

Even though it may be possible for a few, I’m not suggesting that everyone go into work tomorrow and start creating a company within a company. This concept can, however, be employed in various ways and to various degrees.

Being an agent of change can be done at any level of the organization. The newest employee or even a summer college intern can be a change agent simply by thinking of a way to improve an existing process or discovering a new way to repurpose an existing internal technology. Finding these types of incremental enhancements can help you be noticed by senior management and help you build a professional brand as an innovator and asset to the team.

You can identify these types of incremental changes by asking yourself the following type of questions:

• Is this the most efficient way the task can be performed?
• Can this technology be used in other ways?
• Can the task being performed (for example, the creation of a new report) be of value to additional recipients?
• Is this task still of value to others, or should it no longer be performed?
• Is there a different technology that we currently own or would be willing to buy that could more efficiently execute this task?
• If I received the data/report/input-form/requirements/etc. in a different format could I perform the task more quickly?
• Is there a way I could modify my work output that would be acceptable to my client/user that would be easier for me to produce?
• Is there any data within IT that could be used differently to the company’s advantage other than its current intended use?

Regarding creating new revenue streams, even though the IT function is generally considered an expense center, rather than a revenue center, there are things that you can do to find incremental revenue for the company. These revenue opportunities can potentially be found by asking yourself the following types of questions:

• Is there any additional information that I could provide to Sales or Client Service that would help them generate additional revenue?
• Are there any internally built software applications that could be sold as a cloud-based application to other companies?
• Could any of the data collected, created, or summarized within your IT organization be of value to other companies? If yes, then what is its value and who would buy it?

The concept here is that even though you are working for a company, an entrepreneurial spirit and mentality can help you find opportunities to save money, improve processes, or increase revenue. Sure, it would be great if you could devise the next big idea that starts a new company division, but don’t underestimate the power of finding smaller changes. Over time, these small, continual ideas can add up to big results for the company and big professional growth for you.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at
eric@ManagerMechanics.com
or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to build your professional brand.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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