Top 10 ways to create an intrapreneurial organisation

The “world’s most popular innovation website” is InnovationExcellence.com. In a recent article (January 23, 2013), they listed the most important things the top companies do that create an exceptional Intrapreneurial culture. Here is our Top 10:

1. Look for it

“Building an intrapreneurial culture isn’t about ‘creating’ intrapreneurs; invariably they already exist within the organisation, and they just need to be discovered, nurtured, and loved.”

2. Be inclusive

“An intrapreneurial culture builds value across the workforce, which is predicated upon giving people a voice in their own work.”

3. Give people ownership

“To create an intrapreneurial culture, people must be empowered to make decisions—empowered to have ownership. In this respect, employees need to be encouraged to create solutions independently of the chain of command.”

4. Make risk-taking okay

“As intrapreneurs make decisions, they must be willing to take intelligent risks and, although fully prepared to be held accountable, not fear persecution or ridicule if they fail.”

5. Include all employees

“DreamWorks, a famously inclusive and intrapreneurial business, encourages creativity from all its employees, even support staff such as accountants and lawyers. According to Dan Satterthwaite, Head of Human Resources, they actively solicit ideas and regularly receive hundreds from staff across the business.”

6. Offer room to play around

“A method for promoting intrapreneurship is to give individuals allocated time away from their ‘day jobs’ in order to encourage their creative processes.”

7. Celebrate and reward intrapreneurial behaviour

 “Celebrate intrapreneurial successes and the people behind them—whether individuals or teams. Recognition and reward will act as significant affirmations for the intrapreneur and provide them with reasons to stay, continue to add value, and grow their contributions in the future.”

8. Encourage collaboration

“A great misconception of intrapreneurship is that it is an individual sport. For any intrapreneurial venture to succeed, collaboration is required.”

9Get to yes” quickly

“By shortening or circumventing the [process of getting to yes], companies can be more reactive to opportunities; drive innovation by activating a constant stream of, and create a broad intrapreneurial culture leading to more engaged and empowered employees.”

10. Create and allocate a funding pot for intrapreneurial initiatives

“One of the biggest hurdles for intrapreneurial ventures is the inability to secure the necessary resources, at the right time, in order to move the project forward. By carving out a funding pool specifically to be used to seed intrapreneurs, companies can enable greater traction for new ideas and thus increase the likelihood of creating new, sustainable business streams.”

It is rare for companies to be able to hang onto their best talent. Yet, organisations (and not just businesses) that foster intrapreneurship have a distinct advantage. By encouraging staff to be innovative within the workplace, by giving them the tools, resources, and recognition that makes playing in this arena worthwhile, innovative, intrapreneurial organisations reap numerous benefits, including, and especially, a highly engaged workforce, and better products and services to sell.

Intrapreneurship is a powerful way to tap into, and get the best out of, your staff and your business. With it, you not only create a highly engaged workforce, but you will help foster the best in your business and create some incredible products and services as a result. That is the power of intrapreneurship

This is an extract from Planet Entrepreneur: The World Entrepreneurship Forum’s Guide to Business Success Around the World, published by Wiley, RRP £16.9