Following on from ‘Intrapreneur or Pirate’ where we looked at the individual traits needed to work within this revolutionary model, we are now examining the kinds of companies that can adopt the Intrapreneurial approach.
While companies may look outside for innovation inspiration, such as partnering with research institutions or acquiring start-ups, the value of utilising the corporate entrepreneur, their existing employees, is an idea that is gaining momentum.
But is your company intrapreneur friendly?
Here’s a checklist of key attributes a company needs for this structure to thrive:
- Clear and communicated goals and strategy
Intrapreneurs are typically very loyal to their organisation and they want to work in a way which is consistent with the vision and strategies of their company. If these are unclear, constantly changing, or upper management’s actions do not align with the stated vision, intrapreneurs are less likely to suggest, take ownership and implement action on innovative projects.
- Acceptance that failure is part of the innovation process
The old adage ‘If you have never failed you have never tried something new’ is an important entrepreneurial mindset to adopt in the creation of new products, services or operational processes. This also means that failure is possible and there are a multitude of risks that the company must be willing to take.
- A culture which encourages learning
Curiosity, passion, and a thirst for learning are core traits of highly successful individuals, intrapreneurs included. Learning happens through a range of mediums; books, articles, conferences, seminars, workshops, peer to peer interactions, mentoring, staff exchanges, to name but a few. Where this type of absorptive learning is facilitated and encouraged within an organisation, new skills and ideas can flourish and proliferate.
- Allow ownership of projects
Intrapreneurs have a desire to act and are willing to wear the accountability of their projects if it means they retain control over them. As much as you can, get out of their way and remove other road blocks so they can flourish.
- Acknowledge and reward intrapreneurial actions
Intrapreneurs may not be solely motivated by rewards such as titles, bonuses or authority. What can be more powerful is to be understood, acknowledged and empowered to follow what they are passionate about. Every individual has a different set of motivators and a successful intrapreneurial company will find out what those are and in recognition of progress, will deliver them.
If your organisation is interested in forwarding innovation through encouraging intrapreneurship – I can help. There are number of very simple ways to start which I would be happy to discuss. Please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what could work for you.
Stay tuned also, as coming soon I will be providing a series of “mini-workshops” on how intrapreneurs can test and quickly validate the potential success of innovative ideas using very little resources.