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How Can We Encourage Intrapreneurship Within Our Teams?

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Intrapreneurship, also known as corporate entrepreneurship, refers to entrepreneurial behaviour within a larger organisation. Intrapreneurs are visionaries who take the initiative to turn an idea into a profitable new venture or new product line for the company, operating like an entrepreneur but from within the company. As a recruitment agency that aims to place the best talent, it’s in our interest to help foster intrapreneurial employees. But how can companies actually encourage intrapreneurship?

What Exactly Is an Intrapreneur?

An intrapreneur has an entrepreneurial mindset, oriented toward innovation, change, and new possibility within business objectives. Key intrapreneurial qualities include:

  • Proactiveness in driving new initiatives
  • A strong internal motivation to create new solutions
  • A willingness to challenge assumptions and the status quo
  • Persistence through obstacles and failures to achieve success

Intrapreneurs are focused, goal-oriented self-starters who are comfortable with reasonable risk-taking. They bring fresh thinking and ideas that can spread throughout the organisation, sparking positive change.

Why Should Companies Encourage Intrapreneurship? 

Encouraging your employees to behave like entrepreneurs yields many bottom-line benefits:

  • Fosters innovation: Intrapreneurs continuously reimagine processes, products, and services that improve efficiencies, cut costs, or enhance user/customer experience. This strengthens your competitive advantage.
  • Promotes useful risk-taking: Carefully taking smart risks and learning from mistakes breed creativity and progress while excessive risk avoidance can lead to stagnation.
  • Increased employee engagement and retention: By empowering staff to innovate and chase their ideas, they feel valued, engaged, and invested in the company’s success. This also improves talent retention.
  • Drives growth: Successfully implemented intrapreneurial projects can open up new revenue streams, expand into new markets, and boost profits.

How to Cultivate a Culture of Intrapreneurship

Promoting intrapreneurship requires establishing a workplace culture and processes that give staff the flexibility, resources, and incentives to translate their ideas into realities. Strategies include:

  • Allocating dedicated time for creativity and innovation, free of meetings and usual work
  • Providing training to develop entrepreneurial skills in areas like business planning, prototyping, and pitching
  • Implementing mechanisms to fund promising intrapreneurial projects
  • Offering avenues to regularly pitch ideas to leadership and refining plans based on feedback
  • Recognising effort and celebrating wins, regardless of outcomes
  • Allowing employees to allocate a percentage of their time to self-directed projects
  • Sponsoring internal entrepreneurship competitions to surface and reward top initiatives
  • Adding intrapreneurship metrics to performance management frameworks

The Bottom Line

Encouraging employees to bring fresh thinking and take smart risks in order to create better products, services and processes is a clear competitive advantage. By fostering intrapreneurship, companies can drive innovation, engagement, productivity, and bottom-line growth. As a recruitment agency, we’re committed to helping our clients build intrapreneurial cultures by placing candidates with the right entrepreneurial capabilities.

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