All successful firms usually settle into a comfortable rhythm. They know what they do and what they are good at, and then they deliver on that repeatedly.
…Until what they do is, all of a sudden, not what the market wants any more.
In the last 12 months, we have seen a massive shift from doing business in-person to low-touch transactions: home delivery, reduced travel, online ordering, click and collect, video meetings and more.
What comapanies need to stay relevent in changing times is a new skill: Intrapreneurship. It’s the skill of behaving like a entrepreneur, but within an existing company.
According to research from Deloitte, intrapreneurship pays off many times over in terms of company growth, culture and talent development.
So, here are 6 great reasons to encourage intrapreneurs…
Create a Continuous Stream of New Ideas and Innovations
It all begins with an idea…
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s a smart to have a stash of ideas tucked away for future use.
Traditionally, companies have relied on a select few in the R&D department to come up with all the ideas. In an intrapreneurial company however, ideas are encouraged (perhaps even expected) from everyone.
So whether it’s improving an existing product or creating a completely new one, intrapreneurship will ensure you never run out of ideas. And it’s those ideas that drive new product development. The intrapreneurs behind them instinctively strive to implement their ideas and are personally committed to achieving success. Supporting these behaviours within your company culture will increase the number of innovations developed… leading to new products and services launched into both established and new markets.
Identify and Develop Talent
Many companies today are failing to foster a source of great talent: those with an entrepreneurial zeal in their own offices.
Supporting existing intrapreneurs and encouraging employees in intrapreneurial thinking is a great way to develop talent… and spot future leaders. What’s more, actively profiling these employees in your firm’s publicity is a great way to attract talent from outside who want to work in an environment where their innovative approach and entrepreneurial skills are valued.
Gain Competitive Advantage
Intrapreneurs do not tend to operate on the well-established paths of a company.
They often work at the edge of the company’s comfort zone, scouting for previously unknown opportunities and markets, and collecting valuable insights into the competitive landscape. Employees working in this kind of environment identify the blind spots — the opportunities and threats which are unseen and might otherwise be missed — and then exploit them.
Boost Company Culture
A strong intrapreneurship strategy enables the high performers to take organizations to the next level.
Intrapreneurs’ personal drive helps to foster productive and highly engaged teams, develop other employees, and as a result, drive impressive growth for the organization.
Once initial success stories begin to emerge, this will spawn spectacular employer and employee motivation across the whole organization.
Grow the Bottom Line
Intrapreneurs are creative at using the resources available to them to deliver on their vision. Their passion may drive them to work outside their daily schedule and they will often have to overcome internal resistance and barriers. This means they are forced to operate as efficiently as possible, be good relationship builders, and use the resources already available to them to achieve the best outcome possible.
Intrapreneurs are focused on minimizing cost and risk, and are highly skilled at “failing fast”. Their focus on developing the Minimum Viable Product, getting real world customer feedback and constantly refining their idea means that product development cycles are cut tremendously and customers get what they want, not what companies think they need.
To sum it up, if your aim is to create smart solutions, slick products, or simple but unique processes, your business needs enterprising minds, full of ideas and hungry to experiment.
But don’t look too far. There is likely an existing pool of untapped talent right in your offices – you probably just need to support and encourage them.