With February just beginning, we could all benefit from reflecting on both the month that has just passed, as well as those that lie ahead for the rest of 2017. Most of us have set audacious New Year’s resolutions, but how many of these have we maintained through the first month of the year?
For those of you looking to revise resolutions, or rather, to challenge yourself further by setting some new objectives, here are 7 intrapreneurial resolutions to you can adopt in 2017!
- Start Small
At times, gaps between our reality and our ambitions can start to grow – how can we mend that gap? Although certain obstacles may seem impossible to overcome, it is imperative to know how to deconstruct a complex problem into a series of small, simple steps. With this in mind, when you are committed to launching a new business project that may seem daunting, you should begin by taking just one small step forward. For example, an intrapreneur who is interested in selling vegetarian products online can easily build a website or survey to test the market’s reaction and better understand consumer preferences. Once this simple step is taken, they can then start developing an inventory of products that best cater to their target market.
There are numerous benefits to starting small. In fact, the chances of accomplishing smaller tasks outweigh those of accomplishing larger and more complex ones. As such, if you tackle and accomplish a series of small tasks, you will gain in confidence and momentum, likely driving yourself to tackle more and more. In addition, by gradually approaching these steps, you will become better equipped to adapt to changes, which, in turn, will increase agility and opportunity to learn.
Furthermore, if an error were to occur, the very fact of having started small can minimize the loss of time, energy and financial investment. Finally, since taking the first step is often the hardest, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks will ease the process and once completed, taking the second step will be no hassle. Remember to keep your vision broad when starting small!
- Get Into the Details
Many might avoid digging into details because it is a long and arduous task. The overarching belief is that those very details, when taken into isolation, are negligible. However, doing so can help differentiate your ‘intraprise’ from competing businesses. The majority of business owners will try to simplify and create shortcuts in realizing their projects, but it is precisely by underestimating the importance of a detail that a problem can arise.
By focusing on specific details, you can gain a profound knowledge of your project and thus controls all of its components. It can also allow you to recognize market opportunities and understand failures. Moreover, it is often in the details that one comes to love their projects – and this passion is often very attractive to eternal investors.
- A Personal SWOT Analysis
In strategic planning, formulating a SWOT analysis can help in visualizing your enterprise’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The SWOT analysis will help contextualize the internal situation of your company with its external environment. So, what if you were to apply this formula to yourself as an individual?
By developing a personal SWOT analysis, you allow yourself to gain a deeper understanding of your qualities and weaknesses, as well as of the environment in which you operate. Perhaps you are highly skilled with numbers or maybe you’ve been able to perfect your interpersonal skills? Every situation and person is unique, and thus creating your personal SWOT analysis will allow you to gain deeper insights and make better decisions in everything that you do.
- Are Your Objectives SMART?
It is always best to have an idea of where you are heading, and this remains true to business. Goal setting is imperative in a business context, as it allows for the development of a strategic vision that goes beyond daily tasks and weekly projects. That being said – how does one know if their objectives are sound? Here are five proposed guiding criteria: they must be Specific, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic and Temporally defined. For example, let us say that our objective it to be successful in our intrapreneurial endeavour. This undoubtedly is a valid objective, however, it would be most beneficial to phrase it in a SMART manner, such as to “Obtain two sales contracts of more than $10,000 by the end of July.” Once you’ve established your SMART objectives, write them down and keep them accessible at all times – whether pinned to your wall or permanently on your computer desktop. The most important is to have them top of mind and appreciate them!
- Get Informed Using the Right Sources
We live in an era characterized by an immense accessibility to information; never in history has it been so abundant and easily attainable. The issue? Being submerged in such vast information, it becomes hard to evaluate the accuracy and truthfulness of said information. Given that our decisions stem from the information at our disposal, would it not be wise to ensure that we are well informed in order to make better decisions?
In this regard, you should properly educate yourself with precise, exact and timely information. When it comes to reading opinion texts, the author must demonstrate their credibility and legitimacy by displaying his/her qualifications and experiences. The question then becomes – where do we fund such resources? Several journals, magazines and scientific articles will allow you to obtain specialized information that has been evaluated by experts in the industry. Often, these resources come at a cost, but you will find that they are well worth the money, as they ensure a higher quality standard of information. Think of it as an investment!
- Build Your Confidence by Acquiring Competencies
Many “life coaches” will try to guide you through a spiritual journey to help you break personal barriers and achieve a more fulfilled sense of self. While these steps may be beneficial to some, my suggestion is to build your confidence by improving your skill set. These skills can have a horizontal spread (be linked to subjects independent of your initial skills) or vertically spread (digging deeper into your initial skill set). For example, learning a new language, driving a motorcycle or developing negotiation skills are all horizontal skills (unless you are a linguist or a member of a professional union etc.) For an IT specialist, the acquisition of vertical skills could mean partaking in coding classes or getting trained on virtual distribution channels. By working on broadening your competencies, you will gain confidence based on your sense of competence.
- Eat… With Others!
Each and every one of us must take time to eat – morning, noon and evening. So, why not take advantage of this moment to share the experience with a co-worker, or better, someone working in another company or industry? You can take advantage of this moment to learn about various subjects. Ideally, find someone whose expertise and reputation is well established. They will be in a position to provide insights on situations faced by their company or industry and the issues and considerations of utmost importance to key stakeholders.
Three additional pieces of advice in regards to these meetings:
- First, certainly these meals can be shared at lunchtime, but they can also be shared for breakfast.
- Secondly, do not hesitate to eat with a variety of profiles of people, either in terms of industry, corporate status or position – there is something to learn from everyone.
- Finally, make it a habit by booking 1 or 2 people a week in your agenda. You will come out grown and inspired!
Happy 2017 to all. Here is to your success in achieving (and exceeding) your intrapreneurial ambitions!