Intrapreneurs are individuals who take the initiative to innovate or turn an idea into a new product or service for their existing organization. They effectively act like entrepreneurs but within a company.
A great example of the power of intrapreneurship is a little tool that everyone has used for brainstorming or reminders. Yes - the humble Post-It Note was invented by two 3M employees, one of whom had created a weak adhesive that he didn't know how to use, so he presented his idea to people throughout the organization, looking for suggestions. His colleague hit upon the idea of using the new glue to keep his bookmark in place and the idea for the sticky notes was born.
Intrapreneurs need support from their organization to flourish and achieve their goals. This blog explores why it is in your business's best interests to help them grow.
1. Improved employee morale and productivity
According to research from Gallup, employees who are more engaged are less likely to leave the business and are also more productive.
Intrapreneurship encourages individuals to fully engage with the business’ goals and take control of their work. This also makes their job more meaningful and provides greater autonomy, which research has found will further improve engagement, as well as improve productivity and wellbeing.
2. Attract top talent
Companies that encourage intrapreneurship will be seen as more innovative and creative, which are desirable qualities for many people currently looking for work – particularly Millennials. Intrapreneurship also shows that you listen to your employees, which will help to create a more favorable impression of your business.
3. Better retention
Employees who are enjoying their work are obviously less likely to want to leave your company. Intrapreneurship enables them to focus on those areas that they feel most passionate about, creating more meaning in their jobs. It also enables more opportunities for career progression as they develop key skills such as leadership.
4. Boost revenue and growth
Intrapreneurship helps to facilitate innovation, which in turn can reveal new ways to improve efficiency as well as opportunities for creating new products and services. This will help your organization to identify new opportunities and gaps in the market and pursue them quickly and agilely.
5. Encourage widespread innovation
Intrapreneurs within your business can act as innovation champions, encouraging other employees to get involved and have their say. For your innovation strategy to work you need people who are passionate about finding new ways of working and ensuring that transformation takes place - your intrapreneurs are perfectly poised to take on this role.
6. Increase agility
In a rapidly changing world, your business needs to be able to transform to meet upcoming challenges. Having individuals who are completely focused on ensuring that change takes place will help your business to transform effectively and at an accelerated pace.
To combat resistance to change within your organization it's important to have a trailblazer who will champion those changes – enter your intrapreneurs.
7. Make the most of in-house knowledge and talent
Your intrapreneurs know your business inside-out and each will have their own unique experiences and knowledge that they can bring to the table. They will be able to make suggestions based on their knowledge of how your business works, the industry, and the competition.
If you want to embed an innovation culture within your business, it’s important to cultivate intrapreneurial leaders who are passionate about change and will help your organization to transform.