are intrapreneurs born or made?

Paul Coyle, Director, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, France

This article was first published in 2020 in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network eZINE Volume 3 no 1 

This question was discussed in autumn 2019 during a panel debate at the Merit Summit in Manchester UK. The panel members were (from left to right): Alex Kotsos, HR Director Ireland & UK at Brown Bag Films, Paul Coyle, the Director of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network,  and Aernout van Heusden, Business Development Director at the Academy for Corporate Entrepreneurship in Madrid. The panel was chaired by Trevor Merriden of Merriborn Consulting in the UK.

Image credit: Merit Summit

Paul explained his vision that anybody can benefit from an entrepreneurial mindset and proposed that employees could contribute far more to their organisations, and experience greater job satisfaction, if they were encouraged to take an intrapreneurial approach. He proposed that leaders should role model the right behaviours to their staff and he called on HR professionals to do what they could to ensure that HR processes help to create a “can do” company culture.    

The panel concluded that many companies want to be more intrapreneurial but face common obstacles. There was an inherent tension between on the one hand intrapreneurs supporting the company mission and on the other their role in challenging the status quo.  Paul explained how with the right mindset this can be a creative tension that generates positive outcomes for employees, the organisation and customers. ◼️