Visioning is the most important tool you can have as an intrapreneur. If you can not see yourself being— successful, contributing new and interesting things to your team, developing profitable work practice— then you will not be able to be those things. The Bible says in Habbakuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. This scripture is often quoted as an important part of goal setting and it includes three very distinct portions. 1) have a vision, 2) write it down in a place that is visible for yourself and others, 3) hold yourself accountable by showing it to others who can “run with it”. This means that you need to have a vision that is in plain sight and that is clear and actionable. It cannot be plans you made in your head that no one sees or knows. This process is important.
They say that your outcomes are only as good as your preparation. And that is mostly true. You need to develop plans for how you will see the vision come to pass, but those plans should also make room for the supernatural. For things to go in a different direction that will still get you to your intended end. As such, a proper plan is not a perfect plan, it is simply developing some guideposts that outline how you know you are getting closer to where you want to be. A plan should not be over prescriptive because this leads to disappointment and could cost you opportunities that do not look exactly like the ones you planned for yourself. Building flexible plans that make room for the divine, is an important part of being an intrapreneur and showing your leadership that you are ambitious but also human.
We all hate networking happy hours and events that are created specifically for talking to strangers, we know how uncomfortable those can be. But truly, your ability to bring value to your organization depends largely on your ability to make friends and win people over. Coalition building, consensus building, partnership— all of these require you have the communication and connection skills to bring results. That’s why you should think of your networking in three ways, who is guiding me, who is holding my hand and who is following me? If you can build connections in those three directions, you have access to a wealth of resources to help you build better work products.
When we think of executing a task, oftentimes what stops us from starting is the fear of failure. We are worried about all of the things that could go wrong and all of the ways the action could eventually embarrass us. But here is the thing, if you put something out there, even before it is fully hatched, it gives you a chance to iterate. Iteration is important because you are building momentum and buy in along the journey, so long as those you are bringing along are invested in the solution you are trying to bring. And that is the most important part of executing: anchor yourself to the vision and move forward– tripping, falling, crawling but eventually getting closer to the best version of whatever you are trying to build, enhance or even destroy.
Innovation is a word thrown around these days. But what is it really? Innovation, simply put, means you copy something that has been done before, bring it into a new context and edit it to the needs of that space. Consider the fact that Facebook as a platform is not particularly novel. It is a space where people gather and connect. This has been happening at bars, restaurants, churches and offices for millenia. What makes Facebook different? The location. It’s digital. And what are the edits? Being able to engage people no matter where they are physically located. These adaptations brought about a major disruption in our way of life. Social media as we know it today is a result of these major tweaks built upon other types of innovation (internet and computers/ phones). So how does that apply to your work practice? There are things happening in the way you work that could use some adaptation. Your job, as an intrapreneur is to identify those opportunities and bring them to the fore.
Often times, when you are busily building and growing your organization, the reward for your effort is more hard work. So how do you prevent burn out? Develop a reflection and meditation practice. Develop boundaries for yourself and those around you. This means, every month, take a sick day, give yourself a three day weekend to stay home and rest, reflect on the successes and failures of the month, identify opportunities to grow, connect with God, unplug from social media, eat icecream and breath. Doing this continually will allow the opportunity to see what you need to keep doing, what you need to change, and what you need to stop doing. There are a number of wellness practices to be done, but what matters most is that have you one built into your calendar that can not be moved or shaken.