Intrapreneur’s Guide to Understanding Your Organisation

understanding your organisation

My next five posts provide an insight into the content of my workshops, and how my consulting services assist organisations cultivate their intrapreneurial culture to create innovative outcomes.

The issues I raise are worked through initially with an organisation’s management to ensure content and discussions with staff are consistent with their direction and desired outcomes.

I’ve broken down the initial phase, which focuses on understanding and working within your organisation’s structure, into three simple parts.

Part One: 

As mentioned in my previous post “Is Your Company Intrapreneur-friendly”, first and foremost organisations need to be clear about their strategic direction and ensure that they have clearly communicated this to their staff, at every level. This does take considerable time and energy and intrapreneurs also need to take responsibility themselves in seeking out this information.
The rewards for laying a strong foundation will become evident throughout all facets of an organisation by giving intrapreneurs clear goals and targets to work towards, and motivating staff to focus externally on customers, market realities and creating real results from their organisation’s value proposition. Whether it is profits or impact your organisation is focused on, the principles are the same.

Part Two:
Once the goals are clear and have been communicated, it is then important for intrapreneurs to  understand their organisation’s structure and permissions hierarchy. For example, in government and semi-government organisations, the ability to create spin-off companies or new profit centers may be extremely limited and new initiatives may require board or sub-committee approvals. Understanding the structure will help you plan how to operate within it, ensuring your project is planned in such a way as to require as few permissions as possible whilst still complying with your organisations policies. The key is to create freedom for a project to operate as a separate entity – much like a start-up, but to not actually be one.

Part Three: 
Managing risk is a vital component to planning intrapreneurial projects.  Keeping costs low and ensuring that the organisation’s brand is protected is paramount. By adopting the lean start-up model; new products, services or processes can be initially tested and validated for a relatively small outlay by creating a minimum viable product and then getting user feedback – before planning a more market ready product. This can be done under a separate name from your organisation (a virtual company) so that if it gets a bad reception, the reputation of your organisation is not tarnished.  If users are loving it then it can be re-branded under your organisation, knowing it has already been validated and the demand is there.

If you think your company is ready to kick start internal innovation, using a proven process which protects your brand and keeps costs low, shoot me an email at to discuss how I can help.

As always, I am interested to hear your thoughts. Have you hit roadblocks in forwarding a project at your work due to internal policies and permissions required? Did you find a way around them or did it mean a potential innovative project died before it could begin?

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