Growing your company in the future will take new ideas, products and processes. In an effort to foster this development, promoting an intrapreneurial culture is critical.
Ways to Foster Intrapreneurial Growth
Any company with a history of successful patent awards has mastered the ability to hire successful, bright individuals who are dedicated to their fields and ready to push the edge of technology. However, if you want to promote an intrapreneurial spirit in your organization, you will need to support a culture of calculated risk taking and trendsetting.
1) Promote an Autonomous Work Environment
It’s true that not all employees are comfortable taking risks. These employees may find that developing an intrapreneurial approach to their work may cause discomfort or disquiet.
If you’re looking for employees to single out for intrapreneurship training, start with those who are skilled at problem solving. Employees with the ability to develop workarounds or who come up with a new spreadsheet for tracking experimental iterations are already demonstrating their willingness to put their skills to work to improve the productivity of your company. These qualities should be encouraged and developed.
2) Look for the Most Resourceful Employees
The ability to move from the starting point to the goal of any project in a variety of ways and using any number of tools is critical when seeking out the right employees for intrapreneurship development. The ability to fix new problems while working with what you have is a critical skill for any intrapreneur.
Resourcefulness and frugality are closely connected. It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention, but forced frugality provides a great boost to any creative growth.
3) Look for Passion
Entrepreneurs put in long hours and often put a great deal of their own treasure on the line to get a business up and running. While your chosen intrapreneurial team members don’t need to use their own cash to get a project up and running, they will likely suffer some isolation from their fellow employees and may struggle with workload.
The term intrapreneur was first used in 1978 by Gifford Pinchot III. He labeled intrapreneurs as “dreamers who do,” suggesting strongly that intrapreneurs are more than ready, and perhaps even driven by, a desire to break away from the traditional company mindset.
4) Mistakes Will Happen
Intrapreneurship denotes calculated risks, and risks can lead to failure. When encouraging intrapreneurship and innovation, provide personnel and financial support to help your intrapreneurial team fail fast and often. As Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
One of the greatest challenges for those with intrapreneurial ability is a risk and fear of failure. However, any new product or process will face setbacks at some point during development. Always allow your intrapreneurial team to stretch their current skill set and use failure as a teaching tool.
5) Allow the Team to Choose New Members
If your team of intrapreneurs hit a period of stagnation, encourage them to bring on new team members with new perspectives and experiences.
This provides the leadership of your intrapreneurship programs the autonomy to bring on employees with new skill sets, different passions and a fresh eye with which to view the current project. Remember, if the project needs to fail, let it fail quickly so that improvements are made swiftly. However, if it needs different input and a new focus, a new employee can help.
6) Celebrate Milestones
The process of applying for and receiving a new patent may be your intended outcome, but be ready to celebrate plenty of milestones before ordering your patent plaques. All of your employees need to know that you’re supporting each of them, whether they’re on the intrapreneurial growth team, taking the training, or working elsewhere in the organization.
Cultural transparency is critical when putting together these celebrations. Change can be challenging to employees made uncomfortable by risk. The leadership team has to share and promote the need for intrapreneurial growth.
7) Make Success Visible!
When you’re ready to put up your patent displays, be certain to include an announcement of the success of your intrapreneurial training program. Why? Because you will need and want to develop a culture of intrapreneurship that give your company a competitive edge over other players in your space.
If entrepreneurship is the engine of small business, intrapreneurship helps established businesses grow and expand. When it’s time to celebrate new products and techniques developed by the intrapreneurs of your organization, we can help you display your patents for employees to celebrate and new customers to admire! Contact us today to learn more.