Many companies are in a time of transition. They are seeking new ideas in order to innovate and maintain a competitive edge. Rather than looking to the outside for these ideas, they are turning their ears inward to listen to employees.
This is the age of the intrapreneur.
An intrapreneur is someone who embraces the entrepreneur spirit, but chooses to do so at an existing company rather than going it alone. It's the go-getters who don't just let an idea fester, but give great effort to bringing it to life by using the support of the organization where they work.
Tech giants are well known for their investment in employees' new ideas, but other organizations are reaching out as well. Companies like Deloitte, Accenture, and Barclays have structured programs for employees to create new projects and roles. Even companies with less formal processes maintain an open door for brainstorming new ideas. It's readily becoming a big part of culture.
One of the best parts of the intrapreneur movement is it blends generational divides. Younger workers have a deep desire to drive impact at their jobs. Older generations want to leave a legacy. Different generations are starting to listen to each other while pairing knowledge with passion to come up with some pretty great ideas.
In the end, everyone wins. Workers get deeper meaning out of their jobs and feel like they're feeding their fire rather than stifling it. Businesses, of course, get the benefit of innovation. Considering so many industries are desperate to reinvent themselves — media, law, manufacturing, and more — this movement couldn't have come at a better time.
So what can you do if you feel the intrapreneur flame sparking? First, explore established programs where you work. If you're a trailblazer, you must be diligent. Develop your idea and have brainstorming sessions with anyone willing to listen, from the assistant to the CEO. You may have to put in some extra hours, but your work is sure to get noticed. Remember, it won't happen overnight, so keep that passion going strong!