The Complete Guide to Intrapreneurship

The perfect resource for beginner to intermediate intrapreneurs to learn new skills or polish existing ones to help drive corporate innovation and deliver digital transformation.

The Complete Guide to Intrapreneurship is full of insights and strategy for product managers, business leaders, innovation managers and anyone else looking to refine their current skills and get up to speed on how to take new ideas and innovations to market.

Read it now to build and refine your new product development plan without the false starts and missteps that come with doing it alone.

What is Intrapreneurship?

Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Steve Jobs described it in terms of the startups he worked with as a young man…  "a group of people going back to the garage, but in a large company."

The term intrapreneur was coined in the 1980s and is becoming increasingly popular as large companies aim to defend against digital disruption, implement their own internal digital transformation programmes, and strive to emulate the successes of Silicon Valley’s billion-dollar startups.

How Does Intrapreneurship Work?

In many ways, intrapreneurship is no different to any management role in any business. Like corporate managers, an intrapreneur builds a team, sets goals, motivates and rewards the team.

But the context of a corporate startup requires a new kind of management approach geared to its context of extreme uncertainty.

As an example…

Think about the last important project that you worked on. Perhaps you were creating a new product, launching a major marketing campaign, or changing suppliers for the catering services in your office.

Regardless of what it was, you probably began by thinking about who the product or service was for, and what requirements they had.

The same is true for an intrapreneurial project… only the user of the product or service could be anyone, anywhere in the world. And the requirements and market demand are completely unknown.

When the potential scope of a new venture is literally unlimited, but the funding to deliver that venture is absolutely, positively finite (and in reality, probably underfunded) then new innovation management techniques are required.

The key is to develop an intrapreneurial function in your business equipped with plans and processes to:

  • Listen to people’s needs, goals, pains and frustrations
  • Innovate and prioritize your new product and service ideas based on passion, risk and market opportunity
  • Test and refine your ideas in a rigorous, systematic way
  • Pitch and sell the idea to internal sponsors
  • Launch your new products and services into the market successfully... ultimately achieving the goal that all new ventures aim for: Product-Market Fit

When you put all these pieces together, you’ll end up with an efficient and predictable product development machine. And while it looks intimidating to build that machine from scratch, it’s as simple as learning and integrating one intrapreneurial tactic at a time.

Which is why we’ve put together this guide: To help you build or refine your own corporate entrepreneurship strategy without the false starts and missteps that come from doing it alone.

What Are the Benefits of Intrapreneurship?

Building an intrapreneurial function in your business will help you in multiple ways:

  • It will help you bring new products and services to market more quickly and with less risk of failure
  • It will help you understand your customers and prospects in minute detail, so you come to know their problems, fears and aspirations as intimately as you know your own
  • It will help you retain your best staff and groom the leaders of the future, equipped with the tools and skills to solve modern business challenges
  • It will enable you to create an environment where new ideas can be systematically tested (to see if they are actually any good or not) and then assimilated into the culture of the company
  • It will give you tools and frameworks you can use to protect your business against startups and other competitors aiming to disrupt your business model and acquire your customers

Learn the Strategies That Get Real Results

Be aware that the world of corporate innovation is ever changing. Gurus, podcasts and bloggers declare a tool or tactic hot one week and dead the next.

The truth is that intrapreneurship is less about specific tactics and more about management. This is because the discipline of entrepreneurship has largely come of age. Its fundamentals have already been established.

At Intrapreneur Nation, our goal is to clear the confusion about the tactics that work and how to use them to convert ideas into new products, services, customers and growth.

We stand firmly against the so-called "gurus" who promote the next "shiny object" or "quick fix" and instead show you how to implement proven, scientific innovation management processes, tools and frameworks that deliver the “how” of intrapreneurship.

Here, we’re all about the fundamentals.

As you'll see in this guide, these 6 core disciplines of intrapreneurship will be critical to your business growth today, tomorrow, and for years to come. Each of these disciplines will be covered in depth in a chapter of this Complete Guide to Intrapreneurship.

About The Complete Guide to Intrapreneurship

Intrapreneurship isn’t magic, and you don’t need to work in R&D to be good at it. At the end of the day intrapreneurship is management.  If you can lead a team and follow a plan, then you can effectively create new products and services using the strategies taught in this guide.

The Complete Guide to Intrapreneurship doesn’t present hype about the latest innovation fad or ideation tactic. Instead this resource covers the foundational disciplines such as customer research, business model design and user experience testing – always in the context of the goals that businesses care about.

These goals include acquiring new customers, winning more business from existing customers and turning those existing customers into raving fans.

What You'll Learn

We've organized this Guide in a logical progression. Though you can jump around, learning the tactics in whatever order you feel you need them, we recommend you read through the chapters in order.

Take your time. Read and study one chapter at a time. Apply what you learn. And when you feel you've got the methods up and running, move on to the next chapter.

You'll be surprised at how quickly you can implement these intrapreneurial tactics if you focus on them one at a time. Then, when everything is up and running, you can focus on optimizing and improving your processes for maximum growth.

Ready to start?

Chapter 01. 

The Corporate Entrepreneurship Roadmap is the strategic foundation of everything we do here at Intrapreneur Nation. It’s the master process on which every other intrapreneurial and corporate entrepreneurship tactic is built.

The key is a step-by-step method that seamlessly leads you, as the creator of a new product or service, through the same process the world’s most successful startups have used to become billion-dollar companies...

And it does so in a way that ANYONE can follow to create successful innovations – whether in processes, services or products.

Learn all 9 steps and how you'll use them to create a winning innovation and product development strategy for your business.

Chapter 03. 

The starting point for intrapreneurship is ideas! If you can systematically generate dozens or hundred of ideas, you have a solid foundation for innovation. 

Keep in mind though that there's more to ideation than simply running a brainstorming session with your team. (Recent studies have shown that brainstorming is actually the LEAST effective way for a team to generate ideas.) You have to plan and you must have a strategy to avoid bias and select only the best ideas to take forward.

Here at Intrapreneur Nation we rely on two key approaches, depending on the challenge we are facing: creative ideation workshops and design thinking sprints.

In Chapter 3 you'll learn the secrets to crafting an ideation and design thinking strategy that works.

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