While not many people are familiar with the term “intrapreneur,” it has actually been around for a while. Intrapreneurs are employees who create and work on innovative ideas or tasks within a company. As a rule, they are allowed the resources, time and freedom to develop the task the way they think it should be developed.

Intrapreneurs have the same mindset as entrepreneurs, although they work for a company. However, one notable difference between the two is that entrepreneurs brainstorm how to create a company from scratch, while intrapreneurs think of ways to improve an established company. These ways usually involve innovative changes to company processes and culture.

The term “intrapreneur” was coined by Gifford Pinchot III, American entrepreneur and President of Pinchot & Company. His definition pictures intrapreneurs as “dreamers who do and who take responsibility for creating an innovation of any kind within an organization.”

How to Recognize an Intrapreneur

If you want to hire an intrapreneur, you should recognize certain traits. As a rule, intrapreneurs are graced with a combination of the following skills:

  • Innovativeness
  • Perseverance
  • Flexibility
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Commitment
  • Passion
  • Trial and error
  • Analytics

Basically, you should be looking for people capable of observing tasks from different angles who think outside of the box. As a rule, intrapreneurs are mild-tempered visionaries who are not afraid of testing new ideas and don’t get discouraged — even when they fail.

They Work for You, But With the Same Passion as If It Were Their Own Company

As mentioned above, the main difference between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs is that they first work within a company. Even if they’re not brainstorming how to build a successful business of their own, these people are passionate about their tasks.

They have both the flexibility and the perseverance to see the task through, inspiring others around them in the process.

They Are Conscious Entrepreneurs

Intrapreneurs are, basically, conscious entrepreneurs who often challenge the established routines and processes within the company.

Even the basics such as 8-hour shifts, weekly grooming sessions and briefings can be subject to change. Intrapreneurs are, in short, capable of coming up with the most inventive idea using their own unique brain processes that others may find difficult to fathom.

They Set More Targeted Goals

Intrapreneurs are perfectly capable of setting efficient, targeted goals, as opposed to general and vague goals that aren’t helpful overall.

I.e., the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) methodology is often used by intrapreneurs. This strategy is all about setting targeted goals by defining key results.

They’re Always Learning and Growing

Intrapreneurs rarely give up (if ever), making them perfect employees for brainstorming tasks and seeing them through.

A typical intrapreneur will rather take their time learning a new task to complete a project than give up on the spot. You will never hear these people say “I don’t know how to do that.”

Intrapreneurs are resourceful and always acquiring new skills. It’s fair to surmise that their inquisitive minds always propel them forward, fueling their desire to ever learn more.

It’s really not difficult to see how such people can be a huge asset to any business.

They Use the Right Tech

It naturally follows that intrapreneurs are tech-savvy. In fact, they are likely to avoid businesses hindered by manual tasks, when they find creative ways to automate Gmail workflows.

In fact, it is often the case that intrapreneurs are more versed in certain tools and apps than other employees, and they can recommend new ones you might not have been aware of initially. Email and task management tools are good examples of these.

They Keep Improving Themselves

Intrapreneurs are avid learners perfectly aware of the ever-changing circumstances of the business environment.

They always make an effort to improve themselves and are also often versed in the benefits of eLearning (microlearning, gamification, eLearning and mLearning).

More importantly, they know how to communicate their vision and inspire others to learn, making them an invaluable asset to any team.

They Apply Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking is a hot topic nowadays. The majority of intrapreneurs are rather skilled in it.

Lateral thinking is a manner of solving problems by applying a not immediately obvious indirect and creative reasoning approach. As such, it doesn’t abide by the usual step-by-step logic. Individuality and creativity play a large role in this curious process, and creativity isn’t something anyone can learn.

They Understand the Big Picture

Intrapreneurs never fail to overlook the big picture, the trait that makes them similar to entrepreneurs. It is only to be expected, hence, that intrapreneurs will make the decisions leading towards a greater goal, even if that doesn’t appear obvious to onlookers.

Intrapreneurs know how to handle risks and get back on track after unsuccessful tasks. Because they keep the goals in mind, they always find a way to further their agenda.


Intrapreneurs are, as you can see, rather special individuals capable of divining the most unusual approaches that somehow always turn out effective in the end. Even when there are obstacles, they will never for a moment forget what the end goal is and will keep pushing towards their direction.

Hiring even a single intrapreneur can benefit a business greatly. They should be given the time and space to do things their own way.

Intrapreneurs are, as a rule, easy to get along with. They are mild-tempered and moderate in their dealings with others and know the importance of interpersonal communication and connections.

Given the right environment, these individuals can create wonders! Give them the freedom to have their own way, and you’ll start seeing miracles happen very soon.