Are You a Pharmacist Intrapreneur?


If you have great ideas that could work in your pharmacy practice, but you don't have the drive to work for yourself, then perhaps you have what it takes to be an intrapreneur.

Have you ever driven home after a long workday and dreamed of working from a remote island, making up your own hours, and being your own boss? Any entrepreneur will tell you that you have to wake up dreaming this dream in order to make your own business work.

While there are lots of upsides to entrepreneurship, there are plenty of downsides, as well. For some, the perceived negatives outweigh the positives.

If you have great ideas that could work in your pharmacy practice, but you don’t have the drive to work for yourself, then perhaps you have what it takes to be an intrapreneur.

Intrapreneurs develop products or services within an existing organization by using its resources. In his book, Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas Within Your Organization, Kevin Desouza writes, “Many intrapreneurs are genuinely concerned with the organizational mission and want to make a difference where they are.”

From a pharmacy perspective, a pharmacist intrapreneur sees opportunities within his or her unique market and develops ways for an idea to become a service that could be provided by his or her organization. Intrapreneurship can be very valuable because it constantly keeps the organization on the cutting edge of service and patient care.

Many ideas and opportunities could be developed in the pharmacy space if given attention by the right person. If your ideal work vision is developing new and exciting ideas while working in your employer’s establishment, you may be on your way to becoming a successful intrapreneur.

Here are a few things about intrapreneurship to keep in mind:

1. Don’t be an idea person.

Having ideas is great, but what sets an idea person apart from an intrapreneur is the commitment in seeing the project through to the end. Dropping an idea on your supervisor’s desk and waiting for the accolades to roll in isn’t going to work.

2. Don’t expect a “yes” right away.

Similar to an entrepreneur, a successful intrapreneur is going to experience setbacks.

Be ready for the initial rejection, but also be ready to hear why your idea isn’t the best fit for your organization. Take that feedback and find ways to adapt your idea to better fit your organization, and then present it again for further feedback.

3. Be ready for the “yes.”

Your organization is ready to see more from your idea, but that may not mean it will come with all the resources at your hand, including your own time. Be ready to ask for time to develop the new idea outside of your normal duties.

4. Stay passionate.

Any new venture is going to take commitment. If you spent your time and resources to develop the initial project and gained the commitment from your organization, you owe it to yourself and the organization to see the process through regardless of the barriers.

Not all new ventures are going to be wild successes, but the time spent on them should be valuable in the future.

5. Prepare for success.

If your first idea becomes a new line of business that has positive results, that’s great! However, your success may mean getting pulled into developing more ideas because you have demonstrated what it takes to see a project through to the end.

If you’re ready to make a commitment and improve the health of your organization and the patients you serve, the market is ready for you. With the landscape of health care moving towards quality, the light shined on pharmacy has never been brighter.

Remember: audentes fortuna iuvat (“fortune favors the bold”)!

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