Connect with us

Success Advice

Why Richard Branson Threw Out the Rule Book (and you should too)

Avatar

Published

on

Richard Branson Intrapreneurship

“Many millions of people proudly claim the title ‘entrepreneur.’ On the other hand, a title that hasn’t gotten nearly the amount of attention it deserves is entrepreneur’s little brother, ‘intrapreneur’”

Success in business can be the result of great visions and thoughtful strategies, but Richard Branson has revealed that the success of Virgin is, at least in part, owed to a stroke of luck. Before Virgin Mobile had taken off, and while the Galactic project was only a twinkle in Branson’s eye, Virgin Travel provided an experience that would come to guide the entire brand’s business ethos.

By hiring an ambitious young designer, Joe Ferry, for an open-ended design project, Branson unwittingly realised the potential of ‘Intrapreneurship’. The intrapreneur, or entrepreneur in residence, is given the run of a company’s resources without the constraints of protocol and routine. This freedom can result in the kind of left-of-field ideas which inspire both cultural change and amazing business opportunities.

The success of this experiment was huge and as a result, Branson has incorporated Ferry’s intrapreneurial role into the infrastructure of the ever expanding Virgin brand. He has, in fact, credited intrapreneurship as the essential element of his success:

“Virgin could never have grown into the group of more than 200 companies it is now, were it not for a steady stream of intrapreneurs who looked for and developed opportunities, often leading efforts that went against the grain.”

Since then, Branson has been calling for a complete reassessment of how his, and other, business’ are run. He suggests that if management were to actively encourage intrapreneurship across the board then employees would have the freedom necessary to truly invest in their work.

Some other well-known companies have also embraced this thinking. They adopted policies enabling employees to play and tinker for up to 20% of their time, leading to some great new and successful products.

Would you like that freedom – the ability to act as if it were your own business? That feeling of being so much engaged in your work, that time slows down and everything seems to be going exactly right? How is that compared to your current corporate life – isn’t there a big gap for most of us?

As students, with no real understanding of the corporate world, most of us had big ideas, dreams and visions. We thought about how when we entered that world we would make a difference, how our generation would be leaders of change. Three years later, we are dragging ourselves out of bed and into work, and hoping to win the lottery so that we can have an early retirement. When you start intrapreneuring, you will do meaningful work, grow your impact and boost your career. It will ignite that spark again.

The intrapreneurial road isn’t the most obvious one and for sure not the easiest. In fact, while entrepreneurs have the luxury of setting the course on their own, as an intrapreneur, you are part of a running business, which requires you to stay connected to and aligned with the influencers and decision makers in your organization.

As many impactful intrapreneurs have shared, the key to their success has been that they were able to combine their entrepreneurial thinking and mindset with some corporate-savviness. Above all, it’s not something just available for Richard Branson and the likes – it’s possible for all of us, you and me. It requires the decision to start and the commitment to succeed, which all of you at this blog have, right?

For young professionals looking to do more meaningful work, have a bigger impact and boost their careers, I suggest you follow Richard Branson’s advice: start intrapreneuring! If you’re not sure where to start and how to do it, have a look at our upcoming course. It might just be your ticket to corporate freedom.

 

Hans Balmaekers founded sa.am to become the #1 resource for people in their 20's and 30's who care about ourfuture and want to make a difference, on developing the mindset and skills to be change makers. In August, sa.am launches an online Intrapreneurship course to set up aspiring and starting intrapreneurs for success.

Advertisement
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hans Balmaekers

    Aug 29, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Absolutely Nikki, lots of things we can learn from him.
    What about you, are you entrepreneuring or intrapreneuring?

  2. Avatar

    Nikki Robinson

    Aug 26, 2013 at 5:31 am

    This guy is my entrepreneurial role model! He’s been making money from what others would call “outlandish” ideas since age 12. That’s nothing short of awesome… and the ultimate foreshadowing of current his billionaire lifestyle.

    Even people who aren’t entrepreneurs can learn from him how to stand out in their career field. He’s not afraid to take strategic risks; that’s a life-changing lesson in itself.

    Great article!

  3. Avatar

    Alie

    Aug 5, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Fascinating!

    • Avatar

      sedikia

      Aug 9, 2013 at 12:07 am

      formidable

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

It’s Time to Stop Chasing a False Image of Success

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Each person reading this will have a different idea about what accomplishing success involves. For some, you want to lose weight. For others, you desire to build a business that creates financial freedom. An excellent general definition could be becoming the best you in each major area of your life. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

8 Steps to Go From a Wannabe to a Powerhouse Brand That People Will Love

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

In today’s digital world, consumers are navigating up to ten thousand ads every day. Brands are how consumers decide where to pay attention – they help us make decisions about what products we buy, the restaurants we eat at and where we go on vacation. For this reason, developing a brand is essential for the health of your business. Building a brand won’t happen overnight, but by pursuing the following eight steps, you can create a brand that will help your business stand out and put you on the right path to sharing your story with the world. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

4 Principles You Need to Understand About Creating Success and Not Settling

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

You know there’s so much more you want to accomplish in your life, but you feel paralyzed by setbacks in the past and a little voice that tells you to sit back down. You’re afraid of failing and tired of all that life throws at you. You want to build a business, get a better job, make more money, have better relationships, be recognized as an industry leader, make an impact, skydive, and a hundred other things. You want to live full out and experience all that life offers those that take action. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

5 Success Secrets From Elon Musk You Need to Know

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Getty Images

Everybody wants to succeed in 2021. Raise your hand if you have searched for the best success tips to follow? According to Smallbizgenius, there are 583 million entrepreneurs in the world. Some start big, and some start from small business. However, the chances of survival in the market are balanced. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending