A key distinguishing attribute of Intrapreneurs is that they think differently. So what does that really mean?
Keep in mind that our traditional thinking methods have not changed for centuries. For over 2000 years we have used logic, reason and argument as a basis for thinking. Yet argument lacks creativity. It is based on the premise that there is a winner and loser, “I am right you are wrong.”
Intrapreneurs understand the limitations of logic, reasoning and argument. They use different techniques to focus their thinking, be more creative, and collaborative.
Intrapreneurs see the world through a different lens.
Intrapreneurs are independent thinkers. They rely on their own observations and experience to guide them rather than depend on the word of others. They proactively challenge and question the status quo. They believe that there is different and better way to get things done. They are confident in their abilities.
Intrapreneurs are willing to explore the unknown. They see the unknown as a field of possibilities. They understand that creativity comes from exploring the unknown and integrating it with what they already know. They don’t let not knowing something stop them. They consistently push the edge of their own knowledge.
Intrapreneurs are whole brain thinkers. They effectively leverage both sides of their brain. They are both analytical and intuitive. It is their ability to know when to use intuition and when to use analytics that sets them apart from others. They are able to evaluate a situation from both perspectives.
Intrapreneurs are integrative thinkers. They can hold two totally opposite concepts in their mind at the same time. Instead of choosing one over the other they create a new creative solution from both. They realize that answers are not always an either/or but can encompass both. Abstract thinking comes naturally to them.
Intrapreneurs use trial and error to guide their thinking. They use experimentation to test assumptions and to challenge traditional approaches. They know that nothing new can be learned without experimentation. Experimentation is how they learn. They experiment intelligently.
Intrapreneurs embrace complexity. They don’t try to simplify things too quickly. They know that complexity provides more possibilities, new avenues to explore. Cutting off these options too early may narrow their options down the road. They linger longer in complexity than others.
Intrapreneurs take a holistic or systems view of the world. Everything is a puzzle to them. They can take things apart and put them back together in a new way to form a new picture. They are good at analyzing and synthesizing large amounts of information. They can see patterns and linkages that did not exist before.
Intrapreneurs balance thinking and action. Intrapreneurs are more likely to take action on an idea before it is clearly developed. They learn from taking action and take new actions to move the idea forward. They use more of an iterative approach to thinking and action.
It was Albert Einstein that said that” Everything has changed accept the way we think.” Isn’t it time we took a look at how we think to see if it is getting in the way of moving our organizations forward.
Intrapreneurs are already thinking differently and changing the way their organizations look at the world.