‘Intrapreneurs’ As Important As Entrepreneurs

By Dawn Schabbing
Effingham Daily News, Ill.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Intrapreneur” is a fairly new term based on a concept that focuses on employees inside companies who bring the qualities of entrepreneurs who start companies.


Lisa Teichmiller said it is important in today’s companies to celebrate a culture change, which means “intrapreneurs” are just as important as “entrepreneurs” today.

“It develops opportunities for growth,” said Teichmiller. “Not just for the company, but also for the employee personally.”

She was the guest speaker at this month’s Effingham County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Friday.

Teichmiller is the Network Developer for the CEO program and the new CEO Facilitator for the 2017-18 school year. She spoke on the topic “Celebrating the Intrapreneurs of Effingham County.”

She believes companies who embrace this kind of spirit will attract, retain and develop the best and brightest talent. Idea boxes in the break room are great, but the ideas should also be reviewed and considered, she said.

Being an intrapreneur means there may be less freedom and less risk, but being it gives employees a chance to grow more inside a company, she said.

“It’s more like reinventing the company from the inside, as opposed to entrepreneurs who innovate entirely new companies,” said Teichmiller.

Entrepreneur means more worries, lot of debt and ideas that you hope will come to light, she said.

Intrapreneur is a fairly new term based on a concept that focuses on employees that bring the qualities of entrepreneurs.

She also gave examples about local “heroes” in Effingham County businesses who always have a “can do” attitude in the services they provide.

“As a company, we can stifle our own innovation,” said Teichmiller.
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“Then when someone comes in who had an idea, the response is, ‘This is how we’ve always done it.'”

She suggests a failure to bring in technology could hurt a company. She said only focusing on the customer of today instead of tomorrow’s customer is not a good idea, either.

Some examples of driving a new culture of intrapreneurism are in companies like Google, Post-it and Borders.

Google gives a 20 percent time frame each week to its employees to develop something that they personally feel will catapult the company. Gmail is one of the most widely used email platforms on the Web, introduced by one of its employees with minimal instructions, she said.

“That’s embracing intrapreneurship in a really unique way,” she said.

Effingham County is innovative with programs like CEO, Health Occupations and Construction Trades.

Another example of being innovative comes from Post-it notes. These came about because someone needed some adhesive on paper, but not so strong that it tore the paper it was stuck to, and developed this “repositioning” type of note product.

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