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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Promoting Intrapreneurs Within A Company

When the word intrapreneur first came out of Cheryl’s mouth, I thought she was merely pronouncing the word ‘entrepreneur’ incorrectly. Little did I know that intrapreneur was a word all on its own with the definition of a person behaving or acting like an entrepreneur within a larger organization.

At FouFou Dog, intrapreneurs are made, not born; and when recruiting members to join the FouFou Dog organization, it is pertinent that each individual possess a set of skills to become their own intrapreneur. This is important to the success of FouFou Dog and other companies with similar fast-paced company cultures that break down the standard formal corporate structure which allow for autonomy and freedom for innovation.

Flexible, creative, innovative, self-motivating, risk-taking, organized, able to multi-task and responsible are all character traits that FouFou Dog looks for in recruiting people to join their team.

These character traits are important in order to keep up with the demands of any given role at FouFou Dog as each member of the team wears a number of different hats; which is important in establishing the goal of turning an idea (usually Cheryl’s idea) into a profitable finished product without really being taught how or knowing where to begin.

With the limited staff on hand, every individual at FouFou Dog is expected to take matters into their own hands as there is no time for hand holding or standardized training. When it is unclear as to how to approach a problem, it is encouraged to discuss the issue with the team, ask questions, and at the same time, figure out the most optimal solution that will continue to keep the brain churning. This approach may involve risk taking in addition to mistake-making, but sometimes an intrapreneur needs to take detours to unusual and unexpected opportunities in order to make magic happen. As the saying goes, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, as long as you have the confidence to pick yourself back up and keep going.”

A typical day when Cheryl is in the office involves a new idea that is openly discussed with the team, where a million thoughts are running a mile a minute, and then it's off to develop feasible solutions taking things one step at a time.  Miraculously, this method of madness has created intrapreneurs within the company and has been working for FouFou Dog, but of course, it wouldn’t be possible if not for the skills and creative juices that come from each individual of the FouFou Dog team with their efforts to contribute to the whole.

At the end of the day, credit is shared. As a business that thrives on innovation and initiative, the FouFou Dog team of intraprenuers believes that no one ever succeeds alone. Everyone works together as a team to accomplish all goals and in the end, successes are shared.

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