Ever wondered what the word intrepreneurialism actually means? Or the impact if an organisation is full of intrepreneurialisms or indeed has none at all?
Yes, so had I until I attended a first class event hosted by Kerry Holt and Peter Haydock on Wednesday the 13th April at Holburn Bar. Kerry and Peter took us into a world of what an organisation filled with intrapreneurs would look like having identified such people on a project they embarked on a few years ago.
To give you a brief definition:-
An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
An intrepreneur is a person who while remaining within an organization uses entrepreneurial skills to develop a new product or line of business as a subsidiary of the organization
Kerry and Peter talked us through real life experiences and a very interesting presentation, complete with a practical exercise which helped us identify the pros and cons of working with intrepreneurs, and identifying what makes them tick.
Whether we are aware of it or not, intrepreneurs are needed to take organisations forward and help them grow. They are forward thinking people with a constant need to achieve and perform well, they always want more. They are always thinking about the next big project. The down side to this is that they may not necessarily be completer finishers, often leaving the operational side of things to someone else, or indeed leaving the organisation for the next big challenge. They do not cope well with processes or structure, these are people that like to fly freely. Now contrary to what I thought, education is not really a factor in these people’s lives. What I mean by that is intrepreneurs do not necessarily have degrees or qualifications as long as your arm. On the project that Kerry and Peter worked on, they found the people they interviewed had a big work ethic, they had come from backgrounds in which they had worked from a very early age e.g. shops, markets, factories anything to earn money. Many had had varied careers working in large and small organisations in a variety of roles and they were happy to fail, because to them, failing is learning. These people thrive on stress, not bad stress but good stress. A stress that is ideal to their performance state. A too relaxed state (low stress) or too high stress (anxious) is not productive to them. Look around you at work, do you know such a person? Does your organisation need some or indeed more intrepreneurs? You can’t go to a recruitment agency and ask for intrepreneurs as they don’t come with badges. The best way to find them is to ask around, ask your executives to look through their black books, look on LinkedIn and look for the traits I have described above e.g. lots of jobs with different size organisations.
The evening gave us food for thought and we all left wondering if we had or currently do work with intrepreneurs and did we know of any in our social life. A very fascinating talk indeed.
Summary by Jane Stokes, TLC Board Member
About Kerry and Peter
Kerry is an HR Director and Organisation Development specialist. She has 27 years’ experience in a variety of industries including building supplies, media and advertising and, more recently, retail.
Kerry is an HR generalist with specific interest and experience in Organisation Development. Her most recent role was as HR Director for Carphone Warehouse (now Dixons Carphone), where she worked for ten years. Kerry’s passion is around building the right capabilities to enable the organisation to fulfil its aspirations. She has a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and is a Master member of the CIPD. She has recently decided to focus her career in the North West and take a short career break before pursuing new opportunities as a freelance consultant.
Peter is a Leadership and Organisation Development consultant, having spent 20 years in industry in a variety of roles, many of them as a senior business leader. He has worked in many functions from commercial, procurement and logistics to strategy and HR. Peter’s experience as a consultant spans large and small organisations across different sectors, with widely varying governance models. Peter has a Masters Degree in Management Learning & Leadership from Lancaster University, has trained with the Tavistock Institute in the field of the psychodynamics of groups (exploring the relationship between leadership, power and authority) and is a certified practitioner in a number of psychometric and behavioural profiling tools.