ATD Blog

Train Tomorrow's Leaders to Be Entrepreneurial Thinkers

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Young entrepreneurs operating in America can be expected to tackle a variety of new and novel challenges throughout 2015 and beyond. Chief among these challenges: 

  • ways to drive social innovation
  • the growing need for more agile, flexible, and scalable online business solutions
  • increasing demand for tools that enable organizational agility and learning
  • rising opportunities for addressing the increasingly complex needs of increasingly complex and virtualized organizations. 

But more important than these issues is knowing who may play the role of entrepreneur going forward—with more and more entrepreneurial thinkers emerging from and operating within the confines of existing enterprises. In fact, these so-called intrapreneurs, individuals who essentially take on the role of entrepreneur within existing enterprises, are becoming increasingly common. 

Recognizing the exponential value that these innovators and risk-takers add to any corporation, a growing range of organizations (such as Intel, EMC, and Intuit) are actively formalizing programs to groom improvisational and leadership skills into employees at all levels. With corporate culture proven to have a far greater impact on any given business’ ability to succeed than time, money, or resources, market leaders are waking up to the need to train employees to think like entrepreneurs—and provide tomorrow’s worker with more opportunities to think “intrapreneurially.” 

Here are several hints, tips, and strategies to help you prepare future leaders in your organization to operate according to this new paradigm. Tomorrow’s workers will: 

  • Want clear goals, an engaging variety of assignments to tackle, and to work for organizations with a go-getting attitude that encourages people to collaborate, share their ideas, and be more innovative.  

  • Find soft skills, such as the ability to effectively communicate, learn, and practice improvisational thinking, equally important as technical knowledge, which is increasingly easy obtain.  

  • Demand a wider range of professional growth, training, and development programs, as well as hands-on opportunities to expand their experience and skill sets.   

  • Discover that a flair for teamwork and winning attitude will be a must as projects become more complex, and growing number of people of more generations and backgrounds collide in the workplace.  

  • Need to master multitasking and time management skills , as professionals are forced to make more decisions faster than ever that impact a greater range of individuals and organizations.  

  • Want more mentorship and ongoing feedback as they progress in their career, as the skills in-demand tomorrow will look far different than the ones in-demand today.  

  • Look to leadership to provide guidance and ongoing input about what's going on in the organization, as well as ways that they can personally contribute to the cause and make a difference.
About the Author

Scott Steinberg is a bestselling expert on leadership and innovation, an award-winning professional speaker, and the author of Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty. Visit his website at

Be the first to comment
Sign In to Post a Comment
Sorry! Something went wrong on our end. Please try again later.