With continuous disruption happening in all the industries, businesses need to test new terrains for new opportunities continually. They need to innovate to have a competitive advantage. Innovation has become the norm for survival these days with blue ocean markets rapidly turning into red ocean markets. In such times, when entrepreneurs are disrupting the industries with their pioneering technologies, it’s time for prominent organizations to follow the suite as well and stay with the competition. Hence, there’s a dire need to harbour an entrepreneurial spirit within the organization if they have to come up with current and innovative ideas.
To meet this need organization have to hire people who think and act like entrepreneurs. Employees with the zeal and work ethics of entrepreneur in the organization are called as intrapreneurs. Intrapreneurs are defined as employees who have great leadership qualities, logical and creative abilities and a motivation to innovate and work independently as well as in teams. Businesses today have realized the importance of harbouring entrepreneurial spirit and building intrapreneurs in the organization and have constantly been evaluating and renewing their work culture for the same.
Though intrapreneurship might appear less risky from employee’s point of view, compared to entrepreneurship due to less personal liability and more resources from the organization, it has its own shortcomings. In spite of immense efforts of managers to do so, there are still some difficulties that come in the way of harbouring intrapreneurship. Let’s look at some important factors that play a major role in deciding whether or not intrapreneurship can be fostered in the organization.
Active listening and engagement from senior managers
To foster intrapreneurship in the organization managers need to engage with their employees actively. They need to learn about the resources and guidance their employees will need in order to execute or augment an idea into a full-fledged offering. Managers also need to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts that one puts into bringing innovative ideas to the table. Realizing the needs and propelling the efforts is a very critical part of the senior manager’s job for inculcating intrapreneurship. Without appropriate recognition and outstanding support intrapreneurs won’t be motivated enough to bring out their best.
Defining the autonomy and work priorities
This is a very critical and delicate parameter that managers must know to play around with. Determining the autonomy for employees in deciding their work schedule and priorities while they are innovating beyond their conventional scope of work. Employees might be burdened with the additional projects that they might undertake to bring about new ideas and hence, it is essential for managers to work out a plan and deploy the resources that allow some degree of autonomy to employees. It is said that creativity needs a free flowing thought process and hence, for intrapreneurs to come up with new ideas they need to operate on their own accord without too many restrictions.
Promote free-thinking without any force
Intrapreneurship is a thought process and not all the employees will have it in them to come up with new solutions and ideas. Managers must encourage everyone to contribute in some or the other way but not force them to generate new ideas. Also, it’s vital to be cautious about not comparing the employees as everyone will contribute in their own way regardless of whether they bring new ideas to the table or not. It’s essential to understand that intrapreneurs might bring new ideas but execute those ideas needs teamwork, and therefore, all the employees need to be motivated to be a part of the intrapreneurial culture.
Encourage trial and failure and do not stigmatize
Witnessing shortcomings or failures while bringing new ideas to life is inevitable. Intrapreneurs must be applauded for the efforts they have put in and not blamed for their failures. By evaluating the probabilities of failure and success of a given idea in advance, managers can discuss with the employees about their willingness to pursue a particular new project. With this, they can avoid significant damages after product failures and even encourage trial and failure and motivate employees to innovate further.
Intrapreneurs are the new change-makers in the business world. Intrapreneurship is a requisite in this world as businesses are running out of options to expand globally with existing products and are continuously striving to offer innovative products and services to the consumers or attempting to revamp their existing products with innovative features. Though some organizations are consciously putting in efforts and also some who haven’t adapted the intrapreneurship wave, there’ll be a time when building intrapreneurs wouldn’t be a choice; it will become a necessity. Organizations have to brace themselves up for the future disruptions and intrapreneurship is a one step closer to handling the disruption.