The term “intrapreneurship” has become increasingly common in the corporate world. It refers to the practice of undertaking within a company, that is, creating and developing new projects, products, or processes using resources from the organization.
This concept has proven highly relevant when companies constantly reinvent themselves to remain competitive in an ever-changing market.
In addition, intrapreneurship can also bring benefits to the employees themselves, who can develop entrepreneurial skills and feel more engaged and motivated at work.
In this article, we will go deeper into the concept of intrapreneurship, explain its importance, and present the main benefits it can bring to companies and their employees.
What is intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship differs from traditional entrepreneurship, as entrepreneurship is generally related to creating a new company or business. In contrast, intrapreneurship is associated with creating new projects and ideas within an existing company.
One of the main advantages of intrapreneurship is that it helps companies to remain competitive in an increasingly fast-paced and dynamic market.
This is because employees, having the opportunity to develop new projects, can identify business opportunities and create creative solutions that can bring positive results for the company.
Intrapreneurship can also create a more innovative and entrepreneurial organizational culture. This helps the company adapt more quickly to changes in the market, creating a more agile and efficient environment for developing new projects and ideas.
In addition, it can also bring financial benefits to companies. Innovative projects can generate new sources of revenue, increase operational efficiency, and reduce costs, getting positive results for the company.
Intrapreneurs have some very distinctive characteristics that make them stand out. Some of these features are:
An intrapreneur needs to be creative and can think outside the box, finding innovative solutions to problems that arise in the company’s day-to-day.
It takes the initiative and proactive action to identify business opportunities and propose innovative ideas.
An intrapreneur must have a clear vision of the future and be aware of market trends to identify business opportunities and anticipate changes.
You must persevere and not give up in the face of challenges and obstacles that arise along the way. An intrapreneur must have the ability to deal with failure and learn from it.
To implement their ideas, an intrapreneur needs to have negotiation and persuasion skills, to convince co-workers and company leaders of the viability of their proposals.
It is essential to have the ability to lead and motivate work teams to implement innovative projects within the company.
Knowing about business management, finance, and marketing is essential to create innovative projects that bring positive results to the company.
Venture Hub has the Self-Knowledge Entrepreneur tool to help entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs identify their personality and behavioral profiles.
How to encourage intrapreneurship in the company
It is essential to have an organizational culture that encourages innovation and creative thinking to stimulate intrapreneurship within a company.
Leaders must be willing to listen and support employees’ ideas, providing a safe and stimulating environment for developing new projects.
Some ways to encourage intrapreneurship are:
Create an environment conducive to innovation: The company can create a work environment that stimulates creativity, with spaces for brainstorming, networking events, and exchanging ideas. In this blog post, we discuss five essential practices for companies to obtain a culture of innovation and success.
Offer training and qualifications: The company can offer training and qualifications to develop entrepreneurial skills in employees, such as leadership, negotiation, financial management, and marketing.
Provide space for testing and experimentation: The company can create a space for employees to test and experiment with their ideas without fearing failure. The non-acceptance of errors can prevent the tangible results of innovation in companies; understand how this and other barriers may negatively affect organizations with this text.
Recognize innovative projects and support their implementation: The company can create recognition and reward programs to encourage employees to present creative ideas and develop entrepreneurial projects.
Venture Hub has tools to help leaders create an encouraging organizational culture and intrapreneurs develop innovative projects and ideas.
The Scamper, whose function is to promote and stimulate creativity so that new approaches to products and services can be considered, in addition to reassessing the stages of the development process that may be preventing the excellent performance of the product.
The How Might We tool enables employees, project participants, or entrepreneurs to turn problems and challenges into “how can we?” questions. Thus, creating new opportunities and solutions arise.
With the Webinar: Agile Innovation Strategy, Venture Hub helps you understand and argue the need to align innovation actions, map leaders’ vision around common innovation goals, and discuss and align strategies, tactics, execution, and impact expected from the shares.
In addition, Venture Hub is ready to help companies develop and find solutions to their challenges and connect with the world of innovation, bringing tangible results and raising the protagonism of the entire team.
The Role of Leadership
Some actions that leaders can take to create a more innovative work environment, seeking to stimulate creativity and the development of new ideas, include:
Stimulate the exchange of ideas:
Leaders can create spaces for employees to share ideas and opinions about the company and projects under development. This can include brainstorming meetings, discussion groups, and online forums.
Recognize and reward innovative ideas:
Leaders must recognize and value the innovative ideas that arise within the company. This can be done through innovation incentive programs, awards, and public recognition.
Foster diversity and inclusion:
Innovation often comes from different perspectives and people with diverse backgrounds. Leaders can create an inclusive and diverse work environment that values the contribution of all employees.
Create a culture of feedback:
A constant feedback culture is essential for continuous improvement and the development of innovative solutions. Leaders can encourage the exchange of feedback among employees and give constructive feedback to promote the development of more efficient and innovative solutions.
A tool that helps business leaders with innovation, organization, and business management is Canvas Management by Walking Around (MBWA). In it, each employee answers a questionnaire that addresses topics of an organization, such as Management by Objectives, Open Door Policies, Informal Meetings, and Managers’ Time, so managers understand employees’ opinions towards the company.
Examples of success
One of the employees of this match company told his superiors that he had an idea that could save the company a lot of money. After much insistence, they ended up giving him an opportunity.
He suggested that, instead of placing the sandpaper to light the matches on both sides of the box, they should only be placed on one side. Thus, the cost per package would be lower, and the company would have more significant savings.
The superiors implemented the employee’s idea, which worked so well that it continues today.
The coffee company was born to be a place the consumer would pass daily between home and work.
One day, one of the baristas came up with the idea of writing the customers’ names on the glasses, and it was a success. A few months later, all Starbucks units joined the concept.
One of the 3M scientists invented a glue that doesn’t damage the pages, but they didn’t find any use for the formula, so it was put aside for a few years.
Once, one of the company’s employees needed to mark some pages of a book, but with something that would not damage the sheets, he used the glue invented by the scientist, and thus post-It was born.
Intrapreneurship is vital for creating an innovative culture in any organization. By encouraging and supporting employees to think outside the box, experiment with new ideas, and take the initiative to develop new projects and processes, companies can significantly boost their ability to innovate and adapt to market changes.
In addition, intrapreneurship can bring significant benefits to employees, such as the opportunity to grow professionally, develop new skills, and take on challenging responsibilities.
These factors, in turn, can improve employee motivation and satisfaction and their loyalty and commitment to the company.
However, for intrapreneurship to prosper, the company must create a culture that values and rewards innovation, offers adequate support and resources for developing new ideas and projects, and promotes open and transparent communication between employees and management.
In summary, intrapreneurship is an effective strategy to promote innovation and growth in a company, and it should be considered an essential part of the corporate culture in companies of all sizes and sectors.
Venture Hub is dedicated to helping companies develop and find innovative solutions to overcome their challenges, prospect new businesses and connect with the world of innovation.