Interpreneurs are an evolution of the agile innovators who operate within a distributed workplace that is becoming increasingly global
Look up “Interpreneur,” and Google will ask if you meant to search for “entrepreneur.” But, in fact, it’s not a typo. The word “Interpreneur” is a new term that we created based on our research on international expansion and global scaling for our book, Global Class. It’s exactly the type of person your organisation needs to hire and is the catalyst for global success for many companies.
Interpreneurs, as in “inter,” from the word international, and “preneur” evoke the mindset of today’s business innovators. Interpreneurs are defined as, “someone who has the global mindset to interpret culture, the agile mindset to overcome obstacles with creative solutions, and the company mindset to sustain support and buy-in to get things done, taking a vision and bring it to the world.”
Here’s why hiring Interpreneurs are essential.
Benefits of hiring Interpreneurs
Interpreneurs have the ability to translate successful business models to global markets, a key to achieving international scale. They recognise global business opportunities, rally the team around scaling internationally and contribute to the organization’s adopting and maintaining a Global Class mindset. They achieve this by:
- Taking the complex process of scaling and framing it in the positive, communicating the ROI, and getting buy-in while advocating for competing for budget items
- Being extremely effective at listening and learning
- Not limiting their connections within their own borders, a mindset that is well-suited for distributed work
- Becoming drivers of new ideas and innovation by embracing diversity in thought and experience
Also Read: Exploring The ‘Uncanny Valley’ Of Tech Startup Culture
In short, Interpreneurs are an evolution of the agile innovators of today, who operate within a distributed workplace that is becoming increasingly global.
Where to find Interpreneurs
Interpreneurial skills can be hard to find, namely because the community of these global-minded professionals has been disconnected and scattered across the globe. With the rapid adoption of virtual and distributed work, Interpreneurs will be in demand as companies adopt the Global Class Mindset. This community of business leaders will become more connected.
So, how do you find an Interpreneur to join your team?
When you interview prospective employees, ask them questions that showcase their cultural awareness (or, as we call it, “Cultural EQ”) and the ability to navigate new cultural environments.
You should also look for people that are already within the company and start developing the interpreneurial mindset in their talent pipeline development. As an example, Amazon and Shopify now include international experience as essential in their conversations about the promotion of senior leaders and in building a talent pipeline.
Also Read: How small businesses can boost brand visibility via videos and messaging
Characteristics of an Interpreneur
An interpreneurial mindset involves having certain attitudes, beliefs, and expectations that create the foundation of who they are and how they lead and interact with others. To further emphasise the importance of these mindsets as the driving component of everything Interpreneurs do, we created this visual.
The combination of the three mindsets is represented as a pyramid.
- Starting at the base: an Agile (Entrepreneurial) Mindset, defined as “resilience and ability to overcome obstacles with creative solutions.”
- Then layered on top: a Company (Intrapreneurial) Mindset, defined as “able to sustain support and buy-in to get things done.”
- Finally, at the apex is the Cultural Mindset, encapsulating and building on a foundation of the other two.
The cultural mindset is a combination of cultural consciousness, cultural curiosity, cultural sensitivity, and Cultural EQ, the latter being when cultural intelligence meets emotional intelligence, granting the ability to understand and empathise with other cultures.
This cultural mindset is the key ingredient Global Class Companies use to scale globally because it includes the ability to develop the understanding and empathy necessary to localise a business for a new market. Combined, these three mindsets are the interpreneurial mindset.
In summary, Interpreneurs take a vision (theirs or someone else’s) and bring it to the world. Now that you understand the importance of Interpreneurs and the qualities they possess, the next step after hiring or identifying them is to empower them by providing the trust, freedom, and resources they need to be successful.