Intrapreneurship is a results-driving practice that has been steadily growing in prominence throughout the business world. The term was first coined in 1978, and was originally defined as “dreamers who do”.
This activity is similar to what an entrepreneur does for a startup, but for corporate innovation instead. Many companies now view intrapreneurship as essential for corporate growth, primarily because it helps drive new projects and expand into novel areas of business development.
In this article, we’ll cover the fundamentals of intrapreneurship, and how it be used to create a corporate strategy for growth.
What is Intrapreneurship?
Most people are familiar with the term “entrepreneurship”, which on the most basic level is the creation of a product or service based on a new idea. However, its definition can vary significantly depending on the context.
On the other hand, “intrapreneurship” describes a more specific type of entrepreneurship, but it’s a lesser-known denomination. Intrapreneurship refers to an entrepreneur driving value for a company while being a paid employee.
In practical terms, an individual or a team within the company is usually given financial support and independence to generate innovations that will benefit the company. This generally happens through the creation of new products, services, or systems.
How to Foster Intrapreneurship?
There are various ways to encourager intrapreneurship at a company. Many of these practices have to do with the type of company culture that is established at a company, and if its leaders promote entrepreneurial thinking.
Below are some of the most effective ways to create a corporate strategy for growth:
- Include your employees in decisions that affect the company as a whole
- Be transparent about important company information such as current challenges and goals
- Offer incentives for new ideas
- Create a culture of healthy competition
- Reward individuals that demonstrate proactive behavior
- Allow an agile and flexible working structure
- Establish forums and spaces for employees to share ideas
- Encourage communication between different teams and departments
- Give ownership to your teams
Avoid a blame culture, and learn from failures just as much as from successes
Intrapreneurship and Corporate Growth
Intrapreneurship is a crucial component of corporate growth. Because the failure rates for innovations are very high and continue to increase, organizations need to be innovating continuously to produce value-creating projects.
Innovation alone is also not enough, organizations must create the right environment for growth. This has to be accomplished by establishing the right teams, processes, and structure to support new ideas and turn them into positive results for the company.
Intrapreneurship creates the perfect context for corporate growth, by enabling a culture of constant and sustained innovation, idea sharing, and through the creation of frameworks that are essential for the transformation of a business.