DNA of a successful corporate entrepreneur

One of the paradigm-shaping concepts we believe will impact the future of work is corporate entrepreneurship, where individuals inside an organisation display the same entrepreneurial traits as were originally employed in launching the business. 

These traits, described by Forbes Magazine in 2014 as the “identification and creation of an opportunity, marshalling the resources and providing leadership to create social or economic value” can be realistically instilled in employees, so long as an entrepreneurial culture exists – one where freedom and responsibility are equally valued, and practised.

While the traditional entrepreneur may set the organisational culture, the corporate entrepreneur is a member of a wider ecosystem. He or she needs to carefully balance independence and innovation with corporate citizenship. Too little of the former could result in wasted opportunities and personal frustration; but too little of the latter could give the impression of being disruptive—or worse, destructive.

The successful corporate entrepreneur has a natural aptitude for creating win/win situations.

The successful corporate entrepreneur has a natural aptitude for creating win/win situations. They’re adept at gaining the trust of others – both in their own and client organisations. There is a political astuteness that defines the corporate entrepreneur. They have a distinct ability to navigate the hierarchy and make an impression on the key influencers within their own and client organisations. They build networks and supporters through proactively identifying, engaging and converting the sceptics. They are self-aware and focused, whilst being able to adapt to challenging environments.

The corporate entrepreneur acknowledges that ‘selling’ is not simply about the product or service being sold. It is about working with the client or colleague to articulate a vision, moving the dialogue away from commodity and price towards service and value. In the client context, they become the go-to partner, trusted to achieve results and deliver value. In their own organisation, they play an active role in keeping up momentum, driving innovation through respectfully challenging the status quo and continually recognising opportunities.

In this age of disruptive innovation, corporate entrepreneurship enables organisations to remain relevant and keep one step ahead of the curve.

Contact Hatty: Hatty.Richmond@cadenceinnova.com

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