Why Is Intrapreneurship Important for the Future of Work?
75% of HR professionals believe creative problem solving, communication and the ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity are critical skills to succeed in the future of work.
Assessing whether employees have what it takes to thrive in a workplace that supports continuous experimentation and embraces cutting-edge ideas is a #1 priority for many businesses. Specifically, as technological advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation continue to challenge businesses to restructure their workforce, identifying employees with soft skills that machines are unable to mimic is essential.
The accelerated efficiency of repetitive and labour-intensive tasks via automation will free-up valuable time and resources for organisations to explore new revenue streams and opportunities to diversify their business model. Just as the invention of the printing press revolutionised the way we shared knowledge across academia, the rise of intelligent machines will open doors to new innovation opportunities for intrapreneurs.
Research shows that 50% of executives think creativity and entrepreneurial spirit are primary workforce requirements for their organisations to excel in today’s increasingly complex world.
Investing in intrapreneurial talent
“To upskill the workforce in entrepreneurial skills is critical to surviving through this new era.”
— Eric Schmidt, former CEO at Google
Google is a well-known example when referring to the concept of intrapreneurial work culture. Employees at the world’s fourth-largest technology company get a few hours per week dedicated to innovative projects of their choice. This approach represents a real investment into intrapreneurial behaviour and a key contributor to Google’s success. But it’s not the only example.
Whether they are organising talent and development programmes, innovation labs, corporate incubators, disruption labs or partnering with startups, more and more large organisations are launching initiatives to foster innovation and intrapreneurship. To the point that, according to Accenture, an increase in innovation investments to the tune of 1.8 times is expected in the next five years.
This is why in 2020 the global recruitment firm Michael Page has named intrapreneurship as the most desirable skill of the year, stating that “more and more companies are looking for Intrapreneurial traits in their next hires, so anyone who doesn’t yet reference this could be missing out and opportunity to make themselves stand out from other candidates“.
Building Supportive Environments for Creativity Thinkers
The Ex-VP of People at Sony Music Entertainment and Studio Zao’s People Talent and Culture Advisor Teresa Kotlicka, comments that “Individuals with strong entrepreneurial skills can gain a competitive edge by combining their passion with a transformation strategy.”
Combining resource-rich corporations with supportive environments for experimentation provides intrapreneurs with a creative playground to thrive. Instead of creating a void between large corporations and standalone entrepreneurs, organisations who bridge the gap by facilitating intrapreneurship can assimilate the agility of a cutting-edge startup, while maintaining market dominance as an established institution.
In the context of building intrapreneurial teams, this idea is echoed by the MENAT Head of Innovation at the global Bank HSBC, Pamela Attebery, who argues “Entrepreneurial skills, creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and learning to deal with ambiguity are key skills” for large corporations.
Check out our recent webinar with Pamela where we discuss the role of technology during challenging times, the value of investing in capabilities for the future, and the pressing need for creative collaboration to differentiate from rivals.