3 essential elements of an intrapreneurship programme

Intrapreneurs exist in all our organisations, all we have to do to make the most out of their passion is to find them, switch them on, connect and develop them. One way in which organisations can do so is to develop their own intrapreneurship programme. Having ran a few ourselves, we thought we’d share the 3 essential elements to creating one.

Business Model Canvas in action

1. Intrapreneurship development

Intrapreneurs aren’t born, they are developed. Many employees already have the passion and dedication but need a sustainable mind-set of innovation, as well as building intrapreneurial skills and experiences before they can turn their ideas into practical projects that create value.

The intrapreneurial skills and experiences we focus on include business modelling, value propositions, prototyping and testing, pitching and corporate storytelling.

Recognition of intrapreneurs development is also important as it adds legitimacy to the activity and can help employees demonstrate what they have learned. We recognise intrapreneurs development through Open Badges but you can use existing L&D systems or simply use certificates at relevant points.

2. Competitive process

Central to The Lens is a competition where participants have the opportunity to pitch their developed ideas before an internally-selected panel of judges in order to secure investment. We believe this competitive edge breeds ingenuity and innovation.

Intrapreneurs have to take part in an accessible and simple application process, and the judges decide which innovations progress to the final. All the finalists receive a higher level of support from to prepare them for the final, so although there are winners, there are no losers. They are encouraged to build their own team around their innovation, building ownership, engagement and intrapreneurial culture.

A high profile final is then held within the charity where the CEO and other influential stakeholders are amongst the audience. The intrapreneurs are encouraged to bring their teams to support them while they deliver their pitch to the judges and the wider audience. The judges then decide who will win investment.

3. Investment fund

An investment fund is the final essential element. It not only gives intrapreneurs the resources to the resources to further develop and implement their ideas but demonstrates their organisation champions innovation. This funding, together with ongoing mentoring and support, will enable intrapreneurs to realise the change they want to see; the result is innovative change which will improve lives.

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