The concept of intrapreneurship is new that when people first hear about it, they assume you meant Entrepreneurship. The concept of an intrapreneur is not new, however, as it’s been seen in practice for decades.
Simply put Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization.
Recently on November 15-17, 2017, the Intrapreneurship Conference landed in Toronto. The event was filled with the global intrapreneurship community in one of the most innovative and diverse cities in the world.
Although the event was filled with 2 days of jam-packed content, here are the top 10 takeaways for you or your organization:
Intrapreneurs Are Different
When you see troublemakers within an organization, you might as an executive be quick to dismiss them, discipline them or worse get rid of them. However, they are a special breed. It’s not because they’re causing problems morally (different issue) but from a systemic point of view.
Intrapreneurs are continuously focusing on strategy, whether their role requires it or not. On how to improve the organization. This means they’re consistently testing a hypothesis to find a better strategy. This testing might be construed as causing mayhem from the outside. They value flexibility and learning over efficiency. Afterall, what use is efficiently improving a process for your organization if your organization goes bankrupt from a lack of customer demand.
You Need A Team
Changing an organization is seldom done by yourself. Especially when it comes to organizations with multiple offerings.
As Ken Tencer mentions, we need intrapreneurship because we can’t do it alone anymore. It was never meant to be and there’s beauty in that. The power of the many.
— Innov8rs (@innov8rs_co) November 15, 2017
End the Innovation Theatre
Sometimes the difficulty is pushing the role of innovation throughout the organization. The role of Innovation typically stay in the boardroom about how innovation is the key and we must learn. For some when it does go out of the organization, it might be to take a trip to Silicon Valley for pictures or simply renaming a boardroom with “hip and trendy” names.
When it’s time to act, that’s when it all comes crumbling down. At the Intrapreneurship Conference Toronto, participants understand the need to act on innovative projects. That spreads out across the strategy, people, culture, processes, and projects.
Innovation must be a competency, for everyone shares Larry Keeley.
Execute or risk being executed.
Test, Test, Test
Saif Husain shared the lesson he learned from building out employee ideation at Rogers and it’s about iteration. When it comes to iteration, the core premise is about testing. Test, Fail, Test again, Fail, Test again for success.
To do this, the leadership needs to understand that this will take time. Getting an ROI won’t happen overnight, but by having safeguards, it allows teams to have a safe place to grow the organization.
This is something I mentioned in my upcoming book, that the role of Intrapreneurs must take is to be fluid. That means to grow, Intrapreneurs must be flexible and adaptable to their surroundings. This goes for both within the organization and outside it. Anytime a new technology such as AI/Blockchain or system comes into place, the Intrapreneur must be able to adapt to it.
This will not only help the Intrapreneur be more successful and valuable to the organization, but it will also be emulated by their peers to help the organization at the end.
PS. Have you signed up for my innovation book? Get it for FREE here -> Najeeb’s Book