How To Become An Intrapreneur
In any established organisation, there are internal stakeholders who drive for innovative change, create new products, and lead entirely new spin-off ventures.
How to Succeed as an Intrapreneur
Through our experience, we’ve identified five rules of thumb that every corporate intrapreneur and innovation manager should follow:
- Create an Internal Movement
Instead of updating processes, protocols and digital transformations, you should start by encouraging clients to change the way they think and leading by example with small groups. This way, a shift in mindset is more likely to spread through the whole organisation, especially if supported by positive results and quick wins.
- Find a Mentor
Just as startups need mentors and advisors to gain expertise and build credibility, corporate entrepreneurs need mentors to navigate internal politics, master the expectations of executives, align with key company metrics and, last but not least, gain access to the vast resources available within a large organisation.
- Embrace the Responsibility That Comes With Autonomy
When large companies eventually give intrapreneurs the autonomy and resources to delve into new ventures, corporate entrepreneurs are allowed to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions in a safer environment.
- Own the Narrative Upwards
Having the ear and trust of senior management means you can explore the full potential of the opportunity at hand, and drive it in the direction that’s best for your company. It’s important to own your narrative and understand the strategic value of your intentions for your organisation.
- Carve Out Your Own Product Environment
Depending on the size of your organisation and type of industry you’re working in, reducing dependency on the central systems can be difficult and sometimes not even possible. That said, the principle of striving towards being self-sustaining can be the difference between getting the market traction needed to validate the proposition, or not.
Final Takeaways on Intrapreneurship and Innovation
An organisation wanting to innovate should understand the importance of intrapreneurship. A corporate entrepreneurship strategy empowers, enables, nurtures and rewards those who have the ability and willingness to explore, test and validate new ideas.
If you’re looking to embrace intrapreneurship in your organisation and boost corporate innovation, start by asking the following questions:
- What steps can you take to nurture internal talent and empower individuals to become independent thinkers?
- How can you reward employees to incentivise internal risk-taking and off-the-wall thinking?
- Where is innovation required in your business to overcome challenges presented by the automation of work, Artificial Intelligence and COVID-19?
Despite the many processes, frameworks, tools and models that underpin innovation activities, the individual employees who strive for positive change are the beating heart of forward-thinking corporations. Whether it’s running innovation bootcamps to brainstorm ideas or refining your business proposition to overcome new challenges, unlocking internal talent holds the secret to embracing successful corporate innovation.