Jack Delosa is one of Australia’s leading young entrepreneurs. In 2009 Jack was named in the top 30 entrepreneurs under 30. Today Jack heads up The Entourage, a movement which connects Australia’s best entrepreneurs with Australia’s next entrepreneurs.
Jack writes for business publications internationally and has become a media spokesperson on issues relating to entrepreneurship and Gen Y.
With the demand for intrapreneurship growing, we spoke with Jack to find out more about this growing trend and how it effects organizations moving forward.
Jack, can you start by explaining what intrapreneurship means?
This is the process of figuring out how to be intrapreneurial within another organization, how to be small in something that is big. It’s about moving from the traditional way of being reactive to proactive in the individuals approach to business.
What are the key differences between intrapreneurs and regular employees?
Intrapreneurs go in to work looking to add value. The intrapreneur’s primary concern is how much value can I add. They are always proactive and looking for innovative solutions whilst staying in the parameters. They actively seek advice from managers and mentors and are in full control of their career.
Where as employees go into work going with the motions, looking at the time and waiting for it to reach 5pm, they are not driving for continued improvement, their primary concern is how much money they can make and they are reactive in their approach to work which means they wait to get tasks ordered to them. They believe that their employer is responsible for their career advancement and remuneration.
What are the advantages & disadvantages of companies hiring intrapreneurs?
We are heading into a time where human capital is the most important asset the business has and it’s often not on the balance sheet. If you want to please your customers and your clients you need to have employees who are proactive and not reactive.
If there is an intrapreneur in your company and that is a disadvantage, then your business is too old-fashioned because if there is someone in your organization who is taking initiative, problem solving, going the extra mile to enhance their education and amount of value they are looking to add to the organization and that is a hindrance, then you need to look at your whole business model and work culture because those are the types of people who are going to help drive your business today.
How is the psychology of an intrapreneur different to an employee’s?
An intrapreneur will walk into an organization and ask themselves how I can best add value and an employee will ask questions like: I wonder how much leave I get, how many hours I have to do etc.
Whether you consider yourself as an intrapreneur or not you can benefit by thinking like one.
What can companies do to encourage their employees to be more intrapreneurial?
I think it starts with permission, giving them permission to think for themselves and second of all listening to their suggestions. Educate them on finding mentors, to team up with an accountability partner and maybe facilitate that by opening the office early.
What advice would you give to managers who are looking to get the most out of intratrepreneurs within their organization?
You need to understand the psychology of the intrapreneur, get in their head and find out what it is that they are looking to achieve in their career, what is required for them to feel that they are fulfilled in their role. If you can find a way to do this then they will be the most valuable asset of a company.
If you can understand and effectively lead an intrapreneur then they will become your most valuable asset. If you look at boost juice, they have build an entire brand for Gen Y’s by Gen Y’s.
Interview by: Alex Pirouz is the founder of RIDC Advisory Pty Ltd. A Business and Sales Advisory firm partnering with Australia’s largest and fastest growing companies to further increase their revenue. Visit www.RIDC.com.au for more details