Portrait of young happy doctor in the doctor's office

Why not be an entrepreneur vs. an intrapreneur?

The question often arises: why would a clinician want to be an intrapreneur vs. an entrepreneur?  The simple fact of the matter is that the price to start a practice from scratch – or to purchase an existing practice – is very high. It involves major risks and the return on investment often takes decades. 

There are no short-cuts to building a great medical practice business. It is hard work. It takes a lot of time. And as a business owner, there are so many hats to be worn, you will find that the hours you spend working as a clinician with direct patient contact are few and far between.

According to Michelle Cushatt, there are three reasons why talented people stay loyal to an organization, as an intrapreneur, instead of trying to start their own business:

  • Community
  • Desire Zone
  • Infrastructure

This is so true! It takes so long to achieve these objectives when you build an organization from scratch. After 16 years, I am just now starting to feel like I am achieving these three things.  

Once you ponder this idea of the “intrapreneur,” it will be like someone has just flipped on the proverbial light switch. Lately, I have been wrestling with the challenges of how to attract new talent who will “buy in” to our incentive-based, unit-structured compensation system.  Although this system is a “win/win” for all, our culture is very rooted in the industrial model of pay for time – instead of results. 

Intrapreneur is the perfect word to use to when recruiting people who will easily fit into a win/win compensation model – because they know that your success is their success!! I am super-pumped about this revelation.

Grateful to be on this journey with you,

Dr. Matthew Harkness

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