Intrapreneurship: What It Is and How to Promote It In Your Company
A relatively new concept is the so-called intrapreneurship; it consists of creating a new project within a company parallel to the activity it already carries out, encouraging the employees of an organization to think innovatively within the company. Corporate entrepreneurship is about developing a project to increase competitiveness and foster innovation by improving internal efficiency.
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Intrapreneurship: what is it
Intrapreneurship or entrepreneurial activity within the company fosters a positive business culture because it promotes active listening to employees’ ideas, and by offering them the possibility of financial support for the ideas generated by them, it incorporates incentives and improves the competitiveness among employees. Other points to highlight:
- Involvement of the senior management of the company
- Structure the process well
- Anticipate and accept failure naturally
How to promote intrapreneurship in your company
To promote intrapreneurship in companies, it is essential to carry out these points:
- Facilitate and encourage active listening to employee ideas
- Actively involve senior management
- Structure the process well
- Incorporate ways to incentivize employees
- Anticipate and naturally accept failure
Promotes active listening of employees
Complex problem-solving has become one of the most sought-after skills today. The World Economic Forum places it at number one on its list of the necessary skills to face the work of the future. The World Labor Organization lists it as one of the three critical competencies for workers to succeed in the world of work.
In simpler words, complex problem-solving is all the cognitive processes, knowledge and skills that a person needs to solve a specific problem.
Intrapreneurship begins by developing and exercising the ability to listen to employees with ideas on improving processes, approaching new markets or creating new products and services. This active listening requires enabling transparent and inclusive spaces to share ideas, clearly identifying the person in charge of each initiative and giving the possibility of getting involved to whoever shows interest.
Senior management involvement
The company’s senior managers must motivate and encourage the participation of employees in intrapreneurship, taking care of them within the company since as long as they have a good idea and the company does not support them, there will be many Business Angels outside who are interested in their projects.
Big tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon foster intrapreneurship. Google, for example, frees up 20% of working hours for workers who want to undertake it internally. If the innovative projects they propose go ahead, they may obtain additional benefits, such as participation in the initiative. In this way, highly successful applications such as Gmail and many other products emerged that the company decided to support, the result of the ideas of its workers.
Supported by Everis and Bankia, BilliB provides companies with a financial and technological environment that ensures agility and profitability in their payments and works freely with other companies and banks.
Structuring of the process
First, a Business Plan is drawn up, all phases of the product are designed, a transition plan from the previous position is made, and finally, the company provides an answer.
At the time of intrapreneurship, the idea is fundamental; apart from the concept, other elements are needed, such as leadership, networking capacity, business intelligence, technology, innovation, and resilience.
Another option is purchasing a company from the management team or the employees. It is an operation that usually needs external support in the form of financial contributions. Participations or units are distributed based on the achievement of the agreed objectives.
Create an incentive system
For example, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit of the University of Deusto worked on an intrapreneurship proposal such as the Dual Master in Entrepreneurship in Action. A master’s degree could be an incentive for the employee to make an effort or want to intrapreneur, what can be called a reward, in this case, educational instead of financial.
Other forms could be bonuses of different types that motivate the employee, commissions, and shares in the project, generating a feeling of ownership.
Acceptance of results
As in any attempt and implication for improvement, some ideas will succeed and others will not, but there is no reason to feel guilty; taking on this challenge outside of one’s comfort zone is important. Intrapreneurship is a win to win. The trial and error method is often used to proceed with the idea. This way, we can know the drawbacks and weaknesses and improve the idea. We can improve the concept with more research, resources, etc.
And for the part of solving complex problems when they appear, they serve:
- To fix broken things, be it activities, interactions, and processes that don’t work the way you want them to.
- To address the risk, that is, to anticipate threats that could occur in the future.
- It allows you to take advantage of opportunities, enabling you to innovate, create different things and change the environment.
In short, with intrapreneurship, employees are made aware of the needs of the company and the need to seek innovative ideas. Thus, the employee recognizes the opportunity it represents for him, absorbs all the information provided by the company and begins creating ideas . Afterwards, the directors are informed, and if approved, must verify its feasibility must ascertain its feasibility and the project fine-tuned to launch it on the market. Finally, the positive and negative points and opportunities it represents for the company are analyzed.
The employee must have the help and involvement of the company throughout the process, thus making it possible to carry out a project and achieve the objectives set.