Career Skills Needed for Innovation Leadership and Intrapreneurship

Companies need two kinds of people to make innovation initiatives successful, according to Stefan Lindegaard. They need innovation leaders who focus on building the internal platform required to develop organizational innovation capabilities and intrapreneurs, employees who act as entrepreneurs while having the resources and capabilities of the larger firm to draw upon.

More than intrapreneurs, innovation leaders need the ability to read the corporate landscape, and they need to maneuver within corporate politics to secure the necessary internal resources for the innovation projects. They must attend the issues of many stakeholders, including senior executives, middle managers, and external partners.

Intrapreneurs are more operational minded as they have to develop a new business that meet the needs of demanding customers. Of course, this also includes coordination with stakeholders from the corporate mothership and external partners, but intrapreneurs also have a special talent for understanding the need to address the needs of paying customers and making this happen.

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