I spent a few hours the other day with a ultra-successful corporate intrapreneur. I was so impressed I thought I’d share her top ten tips for success.
- The business as it stands now today is the business. Accept that, don’t fight it. It’s the thing that’s providing you a job. That’s not the kind of support you want to be getting rid of.
- You don’t work for a start-up. You work for a corporate, so you need to behave appropriately. Appropriate behaviour means showing up to all the pointless corporate meetings, responding to all the pointless corporate emails and filling in all the pointless corporate forms. Remember, you’re the only one, probably, who thinks they’re pointless.
- Just because you’re not a start-up doesn’t mean you can’t be nimble and fast. You just can’t be so fast you blow everything around you into bits.
- Relationships are key to everything. Build them, cultivate them, love them. If they don’t love you back, keep trying till they do.
- Relationships aren’t politics. Don’t play politics no matter how good an idea it seems. Politics always bite, and the bite really is worse than the bark.
- Be satisfied with the wins you get, however small. You have to believe you’re on a journey not a cliff edge.
- Be Zen about failure. Calmness is the key to turning failure into success.
- Bringing in the money is going to be important, sooner or later. Best to plan for sooner because even the smallest amount of new money is evidence you’re moving forward. No matter how good everything else you do is, it isn’t evidence.
- Avoid creativity traps. Also be cautious around people whose primary value proposition is “creativity”. They are distracting to the main game of creating new business, a task which is only a creative exercise for about the first 5 minutes.
- No matter what your corporate salary is, there are easier ways to earn the same amount. Being an intrapreneur is a job which requires you to personally bring the mountain to Mohammad. If you’re going to last, you must love what you’re doing.
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