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Innovating from within: Inside the intrapreneur movement

What happens if you haven’t found your idea yet, and you’re not ready to strike out on your own? How do you scratch that gnawing itch for independence and innovation in a 9-to-5 gig, the suppose mortal enemy of the free-spirited entrepreneur?

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Wait — intrapreneur?

When most people think of entrepreneurs, they think of folks owning their own thing. Whether that’s a small business, or the next great disruptor that’s the Uber of something, it’s a story and lifestyle as old and revered as the American spirit.

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But what happens if you haven’t found your idea yet, and you’re not ready to strike out on your own? How do you scratch that gnawing itch for independence and innovation in a 9-to-5 gig, the suppose mortal enemy of the free-spirited entrepreneur?

That’s where intrapreneurship comes in!

The innovation is coming from INSIDE the house

According to Investopedia, intrapreneurs, “[act] like an entrepreneur within a larger organization.” Companies finds folks with entrepreneurial qualities and direct them to “take initiative…in pursuit of an innovative product or service.”

Companies who correctly foster intrapreneurship reap the benefits of innovation, an increasingly necessary result in a more competitive business environment. That last piece matters a lot, because it can be hard for older brands to keep it funky fresh. It’s tempting, both for the sake of employees and for shareholders, to rest on old laurels to ensure growth and stability. However, intrapreneurial success stories resulted in everything from Facebook’s “Like Button” and Gmail, to video projectors and Post-It Notes. That growth keeps companies at the forefront for years to come.

Reward without the risk

In turn, intrapreneurship programs can greatly benefit employees. They teach entrepreneurial types to grow and strengthen their muscles of independence, proactivity and innovation with the confines of a stable organization. Investopedia points out that “The major difference between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs is that the fruits of success default to the organization.

On the other hand, the intrapreneur also has the comfort of knowing that failure will not have a personal cost – as it would be for an entrepreneur – since the organization would absorb losses arising from failure.

Striking out on entrepreneurial ventures can be risky, and that risk can be hard to justify with a mortage and a few kids to put through school. The ability to innovate from within gives you stability and a place to showcase your natural visionary gift. Innovating from within also gives these employees access to more resources to make their vision a reality. That’s a just a smidge easier than having to hustle for funding from the beginning.

Hanging onto the restless millennial

Finally, intrapreneurship may improve a company’s ability to retain employees of certain demographics. “The rise of the intrapreneur is driven in part by a restless, younger workforce to make a real impact with their careers,” according to Fast Company. Additionally, “Older generations, perhaps inspired by their younger colleagues, are thinking more about their legacy and launching new projects in the companies they’ve worked for, sometimes for decades.”

Both groups understand the need to fight for the right to be where they are, so it’s only natural that they gravitate towards opportunities that showcase their ability to get shit done and move the needle for the business in a big way.

So, next time you find yourself daydreaming about the entrepreneur’s lifestyle, think like an intrapreneur and ask yourself, “How can I start that journey in my current role?” Then, go make it happen. Both you and your employer stand to gain a lot from the answer.

#Intrapreneur

Born in Boston and raised in California, Connor arrived in Texas for college and was (lovingly) ensnared by southern hospitality and copious helpings of queso. As an SEO professional, he lives and breathes online marketing and its impact on businesses. His loves include disc-related sports, a pint of a top-notch craft beer, historical non-fiction novels, and Austin's live music scene.

Business Entrepreneur

Is this normal (you wonder about your business)?

(ENTREPRENEURIALISM) It can be lonely not being able to openly ask potentially embarrassing questions about your business – there’s a way to do it anonymously…

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Entrepreneurialism is wildly rewarding – you are fully in control of the direction of your company, and you’re solving the world’s problems. But it’s also isolating when you’re not sure if what you’re experiencing is normal.

Sure, there’s Google, news networks (like ours), and professional connections to help you navigate, but sometimes you just want to know if something simple you’re seeing is normal.

Is Instagram Stories really where it’s at? Probably not if you’re a consultant.

Is it normal for an employee to attempt to re-negotiate their salary on their first day? Nope, but how do you keep the desirable employee without being bullied into new terms?

Do all entrepreneurs spend their first year in business as exhausted as a new parent? Sometimes.

You have questions, and together, we can share our experiences.

We have a brand new Facebook Group that is already wildly engaging, active, and you’d be amazed at how selflessly helpful people are – and we invite you to be one of them.

Want to anonymously ask a question about something you’re unsure is normal or not?

Click here to submit your question, and we’ll select as many as possible to discuss in the Facebook Group!

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Business Entrepreneur

Amazon on a collision course with politicians as they strengthen their monopoly

(BUSINESS) E-commerce has come a long way in the last decade, specifically led by Amazon, but are their controlling ways putting them on a collision course with regulators?

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In March, Amazon stopped replenishing weekly purchase orders for tens of thousands of vendors in a move that has stirred up some trouble. The tech giant has once flexed its power over first-party sellers over their platform. And it’s not the first time.

Amazon originally sent out to vendors as an automated message citing the hold up in orders as a technical glitch. The following day, vendors were told the change was permanent. The affected vendors were categorized as making $10 million or less in sales volume per year and not having managers at Amazon. Vendors selling specialized goods that were difficult to ship were also a factor.

The effects can have remarkable effects on the market as Amazon’s algorithms decide who is able to sell what to whom via their near-ubiquitous platform. According to John Ghiorso, the CEO of Orca Pacific, an Amazon agency for consultation and manufacturers representatives, the decision is driven by financial data such as total revenue, profitability, and catalog size.

In a response from an Amazon spokesperson, the change was made in order to improve value, convenience, and selection for customers. The mass termination of purchase orders and the delayed response from Amazon herald the transition to the One Vendor system, putting vendors in an exclusive relationship with Amazon. This system will merge the current Seller Central and Vendor Central.

Amazon’s message is loud and clear: they will do what’s in their best interest to mitigate the market for their convenience. One may be reminded of the anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft in 2001.

The lack of warning didn’t do them any favors either.

While smaller businesses need to change for Amazon’s program, first-party business will revolve around larger brands like Nike with whom Amazon is maintaining a relationship.

Despite the streamlined platform Amazon is going for, the company wields power over vendors and customers alike. Capitalism is one thing, but monopolies are a whole other ball game, and politicians are finally paying attention.

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Business Entrepreneur

Culture Codes is the guide you need for company culture questions

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) One of the biggest sellers of a company to a prospective employee or customer is their culture. Culture Codes has compiled some the biggest companies cultures in convenient decks for you to study and align with.

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Organizational culture is a hot button of conversation. While a variety of definitions exist, one way of defining Culture is the way businesses exist – a summary of values, rituals, and organizational mythology that helps employees make sense of the organization they work in.

Organizational cultures are often reflected in Mission, Vision, and Value statements of organizations.

What many entrepreneurs or new organization struggle with as well, is how to create a culture from the ground up. What kinds of statements and values do they advocate? What are areas of focus? Who are our competitors and what can we do to create a service, product, or quality advantage?

Building a strong culture can be challenging, but a good place to start is looking at the best cultures around.

A new resource by Tettra, Culture Codes, has everything you could want to know on different companies their cultures available for you to study up.

Over 40 companies employing over 280,000 employees have created culture decks and collected core values and mission statements. Companies like Spotify, Netflix, LinkedIn, and NASA have all contributed information.

This information is great for young companies or entrepreneurs to start building a schema about what kind of culture they want to create.

Or existing established companies can look towards peers and competitors and help decide what statements they want to engage culture change on.

For job seekers, Tettra can help potential employees gauge if they are a fit for an organization, or discover that maybe an organization they dream about working for has a culture they may not jive with. And perhaps most valuably, transparently showing off your culture and allowing it to be compared means that organizations can better compete in the talent market.

Recruiters should be obsessed with talking about culture – because it keeps people in the door.

The reasons why people leave employment: work/ life balance, poor treatment, lack of training, or relationship issues with a supervisor or boss; in many ways are a by-product of organizational culture. If you want to compete in the talent market, make culture a selling point and show it off in everything you do.

Even consumer’s benefit from learning about an organization’s culture – values that indicate a commitment to excellence in ethics make consumers feel good about supporting an organization.

It pays to have a good culture. I encourage you to head over to tetra.co/culture-codes and see how companies like Etsy are keeping it real, every day.

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