Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Sheryl Boswell Headshot

Bring An Entrepreneurial Spirit To Your Office

Posted: Updated:
PeopleImages via Getty Images

Take a look around your office. Do you notice any patterns, beyond what's on the fresh, or perhaps outdated, interior design?

How about people patterns? As human beings, we often find ourselves doing the same things in the same ways. We pour a cup of coffee, turn on our computer at work, check email... the list goes on. And sure, we've heard the phrase "creature of habit" to validate this type of behaviour, but I'm here to declare it's okay to mix it up every once in a while.

And while we're on the job, we generally get to know what works and what doesn't pretty quickly. I can say that I know my colleagues' efficiencies and can identify who might work best together to get the desired results for certain projects. But knowing there are countless different ways of doing things always gets me thinking of how we can improve.

Enter the intrapreneur

Putting those patterns aside for a second, you may also notice a scattering of attitudes and behaviours of entrepreneurs in your office -- opportunistic; resourceful; and, most definitely, fearless. But aren't entrepreneurial types usually outside of the traditional office space? Shouldn't they be sitting in a home office or in a cafe collaborating and inventing... and reinventing...with their peers and partners?

Not necessarily. It's just the rise of intrapreneurship - the act of behaving like an entrepreneur in an organization or a company - and it's spanning across workers of all ages.

No, that's not a typo

Spellcheck will prompt you to change intrapreneur to the word entrepreneur, but trust me; it's a word has been used for the past few years to talk about this certain type of employee. The difference between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur is quite simple; both words have a lot to do with a working environment and even the level of focus for work. Entrepreneurs work for their own business, while intrapreneurs work within an already established company or organization.

As mentioned, intrapreneurs are often optimistic. They see problems as the root of opportunity, and every challenge is always accepted with open arms. If you yourself have an entrepreneurial spirit in the office, you're constantly looking for new ideas, new people and new things to get your hands on. If you're not an intrapreneur, you may recognize one in your office at team meetings or huddles. Intrapreneurs are generally the ones asking questions, and challenging what practices are in place to get to the next stage.

Helping steer the office ship

While thinking big picture, intraprenuers are also level-headed and usually act as the anchor of a team. As resourceful workers, they collect insights, ideas and know-how to help keep a team grounded while still moving forward. And just like a ship captain, intrapreneur types are also able to foresee any issues or challenges up ahead. They're the first to know of any new trends and how to tack on to them before others do. They're able to plan, adjust and execute faster than most.

I know that it sounds like a lot of things at once, but I can assure you intrapreneurs aren't secretly magicians. Having an entrepreneurial approach, you know how to juggle and balance all at the same time.

Continuously, confidently fearless

As you can guess by now, no problem is too big for an intrapreneurial mind and spirit. It comes down to constantly moving forward without any worry or concern for what's been left behind. Intrapreneurs hold a level of confidence when it comes to big ideas and aren't fearful of rejection or any roadblocks that may appear in the way.

With this being said, it's worth noting that employers should recognize this entrepreneurial attitude among staff and keep a watchful eye on their rapid growth. Although intrapreneurs aren't necessarily driven by money or profit - they may just like seeing their ideas come to life just as much - they like moving laterally at a fast pace in order to be granted more and more opportunities. This of course benefits everyone as moving people forward also does the same for organizations and businesses.

Now think back to those people patterns you come across in the office. Can you identify entrepreneurial colleagues in your office? Or do you recognize these traits within yourself? Don't fret if you don't, but consider embracing it if you spot it. An entrepreneurial spirit brings a new sense of flare and drive in the workplace that is invaluable in our constantly competitive marketplace.

Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook