8th Issue: Entrepreneuship and Intrapreneurship // Challenge 2
“Intrapreneurship is the spirit of entrepreneurship, within the context of an existing organisation.“
— Manoj Sharma
What is Intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship describes employed individuals that work in an entrepreneurial style.
Intracorporate + Entrepreneurship = Intrapreneurship
You already know how important innovation is for a company: The world is constantly changing — a company has to stay ahead of this change and secure its place in the market. Intrapreneurs are exactly the kind of people who engage in innovation. That is why it is positive to encourage and allow them.
There are several things that can build a great environment for intrapreneurship. Here are 6 important ones:
- Show respect for employees
- Have good communication
- Have an aligned vision and mission
- Be transparent concerning decisions
- Always give feedback
- Tolerate and accept failure
The process of intrapreneurship Intrapreneurship is about coming up with innovative ideas and solutions and implementing them. Thus, entrepreneurs should know how to implement the innovation process successfully.
- Idea First of all, a new and innovative solutions must be found. To do so, intrapreneurs must be aware of the challenges their company is currently facing. Knowing about the problem, intrapreneurs may then ask the right questions to come up with ideas. Yet it is essential that these ideas are not incremental innovations that are improvements to existing solutions but should be more radical and disruptive.
- Product Prototype Now that an idea has been generated, it must be tested regarding its feasibility and likelihood to bring about the desired results. Therefore, all critical assumptions concerned with the idea must be assessed. It is crucial to consider which additional value the innovation brings to the company, customers and all other parties that are affected. A prototype should be developed to be tested within a small part of the business before integrating it within the entire organisation.
- Success If the prototype has been tested successfully, it should be implemented. This means to either launch it at the market in case of products or services or to integrate it fully within all parts of the company if an innovative business model, process or the like has been developed.
Approaches of intrapreneurship
The Google Approach
Giving a part of the working hours as free time where employees can work on their ideas. Resources and infrastructures have to be given,
The Kiosk Approach
Employees can pitch their ideas and might receive support for their development. This should happen in three stages:
- Consulting in early stages
This model offers one central contact point for all intrapreneurs.
The Hub Approach
In this model entrepreneurs have an actual physical space where they can develop their ideas. Here they have the possibility to get in touch with other intrapreneurs.
Hackathons are collaborative software and hardware development events. Internal hackathons can be a good motivation from time to time. They can get intrapreneurship going.
In the next two weeks, your challenge is to think about ways to embrace intrepreneurship within your organisation and create an entrepreneurship manual that gives people guidance to work as an entrepreneur. Based on the type of organisation you are in, different aspects are relevant. However, there are certain resources required to enable acting as an intrepreneur.
These resources are:
- Time to think and experiment
- Infrastructure to realise prototypes
- Financial support
- People that are willing to support
- An open culture that can handle failure
- Reflection, sparring and coaching
- Knowledge and skills
For all resources define:
- Rules and Guidelines
- How to do it
For example, considering “time to think and experiment”, you could describe the following:
Rule: Every employee can request two free days a month to work on an organisation relevant side project. The extra days will be granted for six months and can be extended based on the outcomes.
Responsibility: HR and the according manager have to be involved in the process.
How to do it: It is required to describe the idea of the side project with a short business case based on the template.
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