In today’s fast-paced consumer world, innovation is an essential ingredient for long-term business success. Entrepreneurs and business owners are normally the ones who need to come up with new ideas, but after a while, as more attention is given to growing a business, this can get more and more difficult. Could intrapreneurship, instead, be the key to unlocking greater innovation?
What are intrapreneurs?
The term “intrapreneurship” was coined by Gifford Pinchot III (a.k.a. “The Father of Intrapreneurship”) to describe employees within an organisation who act like entrepreneurs. Creative, determined and resourceful, intrapreneurs assume the responsibility for transforming unique ideas into profitable products or services. Without the pressure of managing or running a company, they are free to push boundaries and focus on the development of new ideas.
A viable alternative to R&D?
If your organisation is looking to boost innovation, intrapreneurship offers a more cost-effective alternative to traditional research and development. You can leverage your employees’ in-depth knowledge of the industry in order to uncover new or improved products and services. What’s more, businesses that empower their employees to innovate may find that they discover the next big thing that may be otherwise missed by R&D.
The benefits for employees.
In addition to greatly benefitting companies, intrapreneurship has many advantages for employees. For example, employees empowered to innovate relish the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution at work. It gives them a chance to tap into their entrepreneurial side while also holding onto the stability of steady employment. Giving such opportunities has been proven to lower the number of employees who leave a business.
How to encourage intrapreneurship in your organisation.
In order to successfully implement an intrapreneurship policy, management will have to take an actively supportive role. They will need to provide the intrapreneur with whatever resources and training they need to get started. They will also need to find the right balance between giving the intrapreneur the freedom they need to succeed and showing an active interest in the project.
Learn more about intrapreneurship.
If you are interested in boosting innovation at your organisation and are curious about how intrapreneurship can help you, we invite you to take a look at the below infographic from our friends at Trainwest. This helpful graphic offers a good overview of the topic. It also provides you with some tips on actionable steps you can take to start your intrapreneurship journey today!