The world of work is rapidly changing and being an entrepreneur in or outside of an organization is what it is all about.

The research shows that one of the key reasons for being successful in today’s marketplace is due to understanding, embracing and living by an entrepreneurial mindset. That’s why the most sought after professionals for the new economy are intrapreneurs, corporate entrepreneurs, social intrapreneurs, and social innovators.

In a talent based economy, results are driven by a small set of high performing individuals. People who create new products and innovative ideas. Organizations are under pressure to generate new business growth and that growth must come from new services and offerings.  If organizations do not find the right people, they know it will hurt their bottom line.

Technology is changing how we work and where we work.  Most knowledge work can be done electronically and remotely.  Work is also being organized around networks and communities not organizational structures and hierarchy.   Plus many professionals are abandoning the traditional career path. They want to have more control over the work assignments they pursue.  These dynamics are shifting the focus from full time employment to freelance and independent contract work.

By 2020 it is estimated that 50% of the work force will be free agents, independent workers or freelancers.  This creates a problem for organizations and an opportunity for you.

In response to this organizations are tailoring jobs to individuals – not the other way around.  “The workforce of the past was organized around the company. The workforce of the future is organized around the worker” according to Chauncy Lennon JP Morgan’s Workforce Initiatives. The future of work looks very different.

Workers must now think of themselves as a ‘product’.  You need to think about how you package, promote and sell yourself.  You will need to build a personal brand.  What do you stand for, what are the tools you bring to an opportunity?  How well do you know yourself?  What are your strengths and areas that need development? Do you have the entrepreneurial competencies that are needed to be a successful corporate entrepreneur/intrapreneur? What experiences have you had that demonstrate that you have what it takes to an intrapreneur? What are you doing to increase your visibility through social media, blog postings? These are only a few of the things you will need to do.

Many professionals think they are entrepreneurial when in fact they are not.  Research has shown that only 4-5% of individuals in organizations are entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial.   We know there are more. It is just a matter of accurately identifying them, developing them and giving them the freedom to do what they do best – generate growth and create value for clients and the organization.

Part of the problem is that there has been no clear definition of what it takes to be a corporate entrepreneur, social intrapreneur or entrepreneurial leader inside an existing organization.  Most companies have a core set of competencies they look for in their employees but intrapreneurs are different.  Therefore most competency models do not address the core of who intrapreneurs are.  In fact many organizations promote high potentials that have been successful in the core business but often fail when they are put in charge of a new business venture.  A different set of competencies and capabilities are required.

Organizations are looking for successful business leaders that can lead the company into the future.

Tools and assessments that profess to help you identify intrapreneurs only skim the surface of what it important and what is critical for these individuals to be successful.  Some use personality assessments like the Big Five that are high level but don’t identify the nuances of intrapreneurs. That is why we have spent the last ten years identifying and developing what we call ‘success profiles’ that clearly articulate what it takes to be successful in these roles –  for corporate entrepreneurs (intrapreneurs) and social intrapreneurs.  Think of it as a blueprint for success.  Our work is grounded in research and working with successful corporate entrepreneurs (intrapreneurs), social intrapreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders.

The most successful intrapreneurs take responsibility for their own growth and development.  They are too impatient to wait for the organization to recognize, acknowledge and reward intrapreneurial behavior.  It’s not just about finding out if you have what it takes to be successful as an intrapreneur, it’s also about finding out what you need to work on to get better.

Here are ten reasons why you should see for yourself if you have what it takes.

  1. Validate your competence as a intrapreneur
  2. Distinguish yourself as an experienced and capable intrapreneur
  3. Be one of the most sought after professionals for 21st century
  4. Define your own career path in or out of an organization
  5. Unlock the key attribute of successful leaders, self-awareness
  6. Take ownership for your own growth and development
  7. Leverage your strengths and develop areas needing work
  8. Differentiate yourself among your peers and in the marketplace
  9. Enjoy the personal and professional rewards of being engaged at work
  10. Be able to measure your progress over time and with more experience.

Corporate entrepreneurship is a mindset, a set of competencies, a way of thinking and acting.  It’s how you look at things and what actions you take as a result of that thinking.

Everyone has the potential to be an entrepreneur but not everyone wants to be one.  Entrepreneurs must not only ‘think and reason’ about opportunities they must ‘act’ on them.  Success comes from putting your thoughts into actions.  Action comes from having confidence and the competence to succeed.

But if you don’t know if you have what it takes, neither will your employer or the organizations that would hire you as an employee, freelancer or contractor.  The number one characteristic of leaders is self-awareness.  The more you know about yourself the better prepared you will be to take on the challenges of work in the 21st century economy.  That’s what success profiles do.  They define the competencies you will need to succeed in a particular role.

Workers are in the driver’s seat. But…only if you step up and take responsibility for controlling your own destiny either as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur.


To read more about why success profiles are important download 9 Reasons Why You Need Employee Assessments.

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