4 Rules On How To Find The Right Intrapreneurs

Elisabeth Korshunova
Intrapreneurship programs are crucial source of innovation for any organisation that wants to stay relevant. Innovation Manager Elisabeth Korshunova shares how to spot the right employees for it.

On the search for the ideal intrapreneur

What makes an intrapreneurship program successful? We can talk about the strategy and culture for hours, but in the end, it comes down to the people behind it. So, where and how can we find the right people for successful innovation?

The good news is that you already have them. Any organization has great potential intrapreneurs. It’s about identifying and placing them in an environment where they can strive.
The bad news is that there is no such thing as a profile of a good intrapreneur. However, they do share similar traits. Here are 4 rules for finding the right intrapreneurs for your organization based on important entrepreneurial traits.

#1 Don’t look for the people with the best ideas

Having great ideas does not make a great intrapreneur. Instead, look for the people with the most customer-centric mindset. Usually, it is those people who take the time to understand customers’ problems and needs. By empathizing and fully understanding the problem, one can come up with a valuable solution.

#2 Don’t look for your highest-performing employees

Rather than aiming for your star employees, look for the most resilient ones – individuals who fail again and again until they achieve what they set their minds to. Not having the space to fail and, most importantly, the courage to fail often differentiates unsuccessful intrapreneurs from successful ones.

Naturally resilient people make great intrapreneurs.

#3 Do look for people who are known for taking risks

You probably know the saying better ask for forgiveness than permission, right? This is especially true for intrapreneurs, as it highlights a crucial entrepreneurial trait – risk-friendliness. Engage employees who are go-getters, people who will walk the extra mile to reach their goals. Whether it is reaching out to people, creating concepts or even already running tests – great intrapreneurs have no issues getting outside their comfort zone. This is especially important when navigating the organization and dealing with internal resistance.

Killed by Google – the collection of all failed projects by Google.
Those were mostly initiated by intrapreneurs.

#4 Do look for value-driven people

Passion is the main driver of any innovation project. Making sure your intrapreneurs are determined and value-driven is key to a tangible outcome. As in any innovation project, intrapreneurs are faced with a lot of challenges, internal obstacles, and ambiguity. The ability to inspire one’s own, as well as others’ intrinsic motivation, can often help push through these challenges.


A crucial success factor of intrapreneurship programs is creating effective, driven, self-organized teams. That is important because intrapreneurship is not a one-man or a one-woman show. A good team is heterogenous in skills but homogeneous in key entrepreneurial attributes:

  • Customer-centric
  • Resilient
  • Risk-friendly
  • Passionate and value-driven

We would love to hear your take on intrapreneurs. Got a question, or would simply like to have an exchange with our experts? Reach out to us!


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