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Work culture has been increasingly top of mind for many business owners in the present day. It’s no longer enough for companies to hire brilliant but difficult personalities. Culture is critical. It can make or break a company, in terms of recruiting and retention of industry-leading talent, and also in terms of client success.

More talented professionals are drawn to those work cultures where they feel they can make a real impact on the success of the company. That entrepreneur mindset of entrepreneurship has struggled to take root in the corporate environment until now.

In the latest episode of the Microsoft Partner Network podcast, we had the chance to talk face to face with author and Director of Digital Marketing here at Microsoft, Yoli Chisholm, about how important that culture of entrepreneurship is to companies looking to stay relevant and impactful in our age of digital transformation.

Turning entrepreneurs into intrapreneurs

Yoli describes intrapreneurship as the skills and behaviors of entrepreneurs within the context of a corporate environment. That means taking smart risks, being open to failure, testing and optimizing, and being quick to learn from mistakes.

“I think there’s a lot we can learn, not only from the technologies that entrepreneurs develop but also the skill sets they use in driving growth in their businesses.”

– Yoli Chisholm, Microsoft Director of Digital Marketing

Such out-of-the-box thinking is not always recognized as valuable within a traditional corporate environment. Success is often rewarded and failure punished. But if companies are able to bring in more of that intrapreneurial spirit into their work culture, it makes room for a more innovative culture that encourages teams to try new things and, more important, to grow.

Fostering innovation

There are several ways companies can encourage a more entrepreneurial culture. Supportive leadership is critical. Yoli mentioned that incorporating programs such as hack-a-thons and making room for strategic planning can set the stage for companies to move beyond the status quo. She said that is because that growth mindset requires recognition that new ideas don’t come from nothing. They need to be encouraged and nurtured in order to make an impact on a business.

Within a corporation, you need a manager who recognizes the importance of driving innovation and not simply maintaining the status quo.”

– Yoli Chisholm, Microsoft Director of Digital Marketing

How can you think like an intrapreneur?

There are several ways individuals can bring that culture of entrepreneurship into their daily lives, regardless of corporate-sponsored programs.

1. Keep learning

Yoli stressed that in order to stay relevant in today’s market, professionals need to actively learn new things. Understanding new technologies and new strategies are critically important and will help individuals and companies stay on top of fast-changing trends.

Having the entrepreneurial mindset is about being willing to learn. It’s about being a life-long student and continuously honing your craft in your field.”

– Yoli Chisholm, Microsoft Director of Digital Marketing

2. Try new things

Taking smart risks is an important part of entrepreneurship and it is equally important in your corporate career as well. Yoli said that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being willing to try something out, experiment, share ideas, and learn as you go.

3. Come from a place of yes

All too often in a corporate environment, Yoli says individuals are afraid to share their ideas out of fear of rejection. Rather than holding back, she recommends keeping a positive and open mind about the idea. Even if there are clear holes or issues that will need to be resolved, by coming from a place of yes, you are better able to look for ways to make it work. And who knows, that one idea might change the industry if you let it.

Listen in to Learn More

To hear more about how you can drive business success by changing your work culture, listen to the latest episode of the Microsoft Partner Network podcast. Also, check out Yoli’s new book, Crushing Corporate.

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