What is intrapreneurship and why is it important?

Companies are no longer seen by employees only as a place they go to work. It is also a catalyst for constant learning. Employees are looking for recognition and autonomy, but not only.

Today, they are also seeking meaning in their professional activities. Therefore, businesses must transform and reinvent themselves. They should disrupt their own model in order to continue to innovate and develop new projects.

One of their main objectives are also to unite their employees around common values, challenges and culture. To achieve these goals, companies must be able to count on their employees, those who know the company best.

To do so, the implementation of an intrapreneurship program within the organization can reveal hidden talents and stimulate the commitment of its employees, the team cohesion, while being a lever for growth!

Intrapreneurship: definition

Intrapreneurship is acting like an entrepreneur within your organization. The intrapreneur transforms his/her idea into a finished product, a service, or a profitable process for his company.

An intrapreneurial approach encourages and promotes risk-taking, innovation, and employee motivation.

A comprehensive HR tool

Business continuity and operational efficiency have always been difficult topics to address. But with the recent times of crisis, they have been even more challenging. The need to build business resilience is greater than ever… So how do you do it? 

Through intrapreneurship, you value the emotional commitment employees have to their work and the company’s goals.

Statistics show that companies with high employee engagement tend to: 

  • Have higher productivity
  • Have higher profits
  • Have lower turnover

Intrapreneurship at the service of a global strategy is a powerful tool that brings together :

  • Employee engagement through continuous learning, a common culture, which encourages their autonomy.
  • Operational efficiency thanks to a better knowledge of the company and its market as well as pro-activity and innovation.
  • Participative management uniting teams around common objectives and promotes trust and transparency.

What are the challenges of intrapreneurship in times of crisis?

In the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, it becomes essential for companies to make strategic choices to reduce their costs and risks. It has to be done in order to maintain their economic balance. In such circumstances, effective crisis management practices must be put in place.

Companies that integrate crisis management into their strategy are able to reduce negative impacts on capital by 60%1. On the contrary, companies that did not integrate these practices suffered capitalization losses of up to 11% and share price losses of 15%2. Despite the obvious benefits of these practices, it has been shown that only 30% of organizations have crisis management plans3.

In times of crisis, many make the mistake of focusing solely on resources external to the company. But the resilience of organizations lies in what they already have at their fingertips: their people. No one knows your company better than your employees! People resilience is what structures an organization’s ability to weather a crisis and recover during and after it.

So, where do you start in developing a crisis management plan?

How to set up an intrapreneurship program?

Before launching your intrapraneurial program, here are some tips for HR managers:

Encourage collaboration & frequent communication with employees

Meaningful communication and collaboration will ensure transparency and cooperation among employees. This will help prevent any unexpected changes. Organizations can also be mobilized to actively design solutions.

Set clear priorities and encourage others to explore and implement solutions

Many ideas are better than one; being a leader does not mean you are alone. Use your collaborators – think of them as teammates and encourage others to come forward with their ideas. Set appropriate priorities and ensure that others are guided by them. It is important to make sure that time and resources are not wasted in difficult times.

Protect your employees

Employees need to feel protected by their employer, especially during difficult times. Keep the system intact where their voice can be heard – that way they can contribute to changes in the company, feel more engaged and secure. Give them the ability to adapt and evolve quickly to foreign situations or protocols.

Focus on technique

When it comes to situations that require working remotely, there is a need for successful digitization and technology to support effective work productivity. Encourage innovation among employees.

5 main benefits of intrapreneurship

1. Promotes employee loyalty and mental security

Launching an internal challenge will show your employees that entrepreneurial behavior is supported in the company. It promotes an open culture where sharing ideas becomes common. When employees feel heard, their loyalty to the company is strengthened and contributes to their sense of protection. It also gives them the opportunity to express themselves, thus contributing to the company as an adaptive response to crises.

2. Develops learning by doing

It’s not enough to solicit ideas from experts; they must gather information, design solutions, implement them and refine them as they go. Active learning is the key to stimulating employees; humans are inherently drawn to knowledge acquisition and personal growth.

3. Stimulates creativity

It is said that the type of innovation a company engages in determines its productive results. If faced with an internal innovation challenge, employees would actively collaborate with each other, share their knowledge, skills, and expertise. Therefore, it will increase the overall productivity of the company.

4. Solve problems with a crowdsourcing approach

Your employees are one of your company’s most productive assets. Why reinvent the wheel when you can maximize the value of internal expertise? Use the internal resources and talents already at your disposal!

5. Break down silos

Experience has shown that the degree of complexity of a crisis makes it necessary to use experts from different fields. These experts are already in your company – use them!

In a nutshell

The disruptions and uncertainty created by crises remind us of what makes us human. Companies should learn to work with their diverse talents and empower them to meet these challenges.

Of all the innovation principles and leadership strategies mentioned for fighting crises, the key qualities that help leaders and organizations remain resilient are engaging with your most productive assets in your business – your employees!

Sources:

1 MacLeod, David. “What Is Employee Engagement – Engage For Success”. Engage For Success, 2019

2 West, Mary Beth. “Crisis Management’s Real-Time Frontier: Using New Technology to Secure Critical Data.” The Public Relations Strategist : Issues and Trends That Affect Management 9.3 (2003)

3 2 Henry, Rene A. You’d Better Have A Hose If You Want To Put Out The Fire. Gollywobbler Productions, 2000.

Ready to empower your team through an intrapreneurship program?

What is Agorize?

Agorize is the most comprehensive innovation management platform, supported by a team of experts and community of innovators. For over a decade, we’ve been providing technology powered by a community of 5 million innovators to foster change and accelerate innovation. Our clients and partners worldwide crowdsource, evaluate and develop solutions from startups, employees, developers and students using Agorize.

We’ve helped over 300 global enterprise companies in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific, including Enterprise Singapore, Huawei, Microsoft, LVMH, PepsiCo, Bayer, Schneider Electric, Hitachi, L’Oréal and many more by running their innovation programs.

What is an idea box?

Agorize IDEA BOX is an ideation management platform that helps organizations collect, assess and develop ideas from their employees or external communities. It’s an all-in-one solution with features to simplify the process of crowdsourcing ideas, so ideation can be accelerated and improved. Individuals or teams can submit ideas, which can then be evaluated by peers or experts on the platform through grades or virtual investments.

Then, the best ideas can be further developed with the input of others through feedback and comments. Our IDEA BOX solution is popular amongst HR and innovation leaders at enterprise companies. IDEA BOX allows HR leaders to engage employees across teams and countries to contribute valuable ideas and collaborate. As such, positively contributing to the company culture, employee satisfaction and retention and overall ROI. On the other hand, IDEA BOX supports innovation leaders in solving problem statements by opening up to the relevant communities they want to engage, such as customers, employees or other innovators.

What is an internal challenge?

An internal challenge, or internal competition, is a competition organized within a company to engage employees in finding new innovative solutions. Much like any innovation challenge, it includes clear objectives, problem statements and rewards. When done right, an internal challenge will have multiple positive impacts on the organization.

Not only will engaging employees on relevant business challenges lead to accelerated crowdsourcing, development and implementation of solutions that increase business growth and revenue. It will also foster a company culture of continuous improvement, increase employee satisfaction and retention and attract new talent to the company.

What is entrepreneurship?

Intrapreneurship is acting like an entrepreneur within your organization. The intrapreneur transforms his/her idea into a finished product, a service, or a profitable process for his company.

Why intrapreneurship is important?

1. Promotes employee loyalty and mental security
2. Develops learning by doing
3. Stimulates creativity
4. Solve problems with a crowdsourcing approach
5. Break down silos

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