Business organisations are increasingly looking for ways to be more innovative to remain competitive in the industry. Hence, they recognise the need to enhance their inventiveness. Creating a more entrepreneurial culture is the best way to become more innovative, bringing the idea of intrapreneurship.
Thus, it can be said that it is a stepping stone to entrepreneurship. An employee combines his responsibilities with his entrepreneurship skills. That creates an intrapreneur. An Intrapreneurship is as crucial for the organisation’s future as swimming is for a whale- you cannot survive if you don’t do it. This blog will discuss in detail the meaning of an Intrapreneurship and its importance and characteristics.
Did you know? Gifford Pinchot, an American entrepreneur, inventor, and author, with his wife coined the term Intrapreneurship in a 1978 white paper entitled Intra-Corporate Entrepreneurship.
What is Intrapreneurship?
The term intrapreneurship is a system that creates an entrepreneurial environment by empowering employees to act like entrepreneurs. A business organisation should give its employees the freedom to experiment and suggest better ways to benefit the culture within the company. Intrapreneurship attempts to search for the best resolution by encouraging independence and autonomy. It can positively impact the organisation. Hence, both the company and the employees stand to benefit.
Intrapreneurs develop their venture by utilising all they have learned as a team. In other words, an intrapreneur can become an entrepreneur and begin their own business outside their current workplace. They have leadership qualities and are highly inspired.
Any personal loss does not threaten the employee because the corporation supplies all the resources. As a result, they benefit because they may assume less risk than those who own their businesses.
Also Read: What is a Business Model?
Importance of Intrapreneurship
Given the above definition, an intrapreneurship is crucial for the employee and the organisation. Encouraging it can lead to innovative changes and improve efficiency within the organisational culture. An intrapreneur knows the company better than anyone else does. It conveys that he has seen an opportunity to grow that others might have overlooked initially. Intrapreneurs are best at exploring policies and technologies that help boost the performance and profitability of an existing company. Let's see the importance of an intrapreneurship:
Boosts Employee Morale and Productivity:
The more engaged the employees are, the less likely they are to leave the organisation. Intrapreneurship allows its workers to fully engage in the business and take charge of the work. Thus, providing autonomy makes the working of employees more meaningful and improves their productivity.
Increased Revenue and Growth:
Facilitating innovation improves ways of creating new products and services. Hence, the organisation can find new opportunities in the existing and new markets and grab them quickly.
Making the Most of In-House Talent:
In an intrapreneurship, the employees get a chance to outperform their key responsibility areas. They can bring unique knowledge to the table through their own experiences, and they will make recommendations based on their idea about the industry and competition.
Better Retention of Employees:
Employees who are passionate about their work have fewer chances of leaving the organisation. Intrapreneurship keeps them engaged in those areas of work that they enjoy the most. It adds more meaning to their jobs.
Providing a Competitive Edge:
Intrapreneurship consists of a highly efficient and expert workforce. They have excellent skills in resolving issues and taking the organisation towards new opportunities, giving a competitive edge to the company they are working for.
Identifying the Potential of an Employee:
An organisation can explore employees' abilities and bring out an intrapreneur within them. Thus, a company grows because of its valuable human resource.
Characteristics of Intrapreneurship
A true intrapreneur is comfortable being out of his comfort zone. They keep testing their knowledge and ideas to achieve their desired results. Thinking outside of the box is a skill they must have to stay ahead in the competition. The following is a list of all the essential features of an Intrapreneurship:
- Innovative Approach: Intrapreneurship is a creative initiative that allows problem-solving and seeing challenges as opportunities.
- Zero investment by the intrapreneur: A failure does not have a personal cost for the intrapreneur. The organisation bears the losses arising out of it. Hence, he need not spend even a penny on the project even though he is the brain behind the idea.
- Mutual Benefit: Employers should allow an intrapreneurship since it is critical for the organisation. It helps employees grow while keeping them involved. On the other hand, it achieves higher financial returns and profitability for the organisation.
- Leadership: Only a person with strong and effective leadership traits can become an entrepreneur. Motivating the team to work towards the same goal is highly critical, and it requires emotional intelligence on the part of the entrepreneur.
- Risk-taker: Intrapreneurs risks losing their career if their initiatives fail. However, they are still willing to take this risk and provide solutions to the problems through their ideas. Bringing an innovative change in the business organisation is their ultimate goal.
- Diversification: In an intrapreneurship, people of different age groups, gender, fields, and culture work together as a team. Thus, it aims to promote diversification in the work environment.
The Three Types of Intrapreneurs
Intrapreneurship is not a solo game but involves working as a team to deliver the best results. Three types of intrapreneurs make up a great team together:
This person is a programmer or an engineer that gives life to your idea and creates a solution. He is in an internally facing role. For example, the Creator might be a chef if you work in the hotel and food industry.
They play the role (say) of a designer or a business analyst. Shaping the problem to be solved and defining the attributes of the customers are their leading tasks. Since the organisation keeps coming up with new ideas, they are often easy to spot in the company. The advocate is a customer-facing role.
The Change Maker:
They are external business-facing people that make things happen. Such people are great networkers that bring finance, funding, sales, and partnerships.
What Is the Process of an Intrapreneurship?
The process of an intrapreneurship involves the following steps:
- Step 1: Encourage the employees to bring their ideas to the table by familiarising them with the higher authority they are conveying.
- Step 2: Checking the compatibility of the employees’ ideas with the goals and objectives of the organisation.
- Step 3: Analysing the Ideas from different aspects to identify any scope for betterment.
- Step 4: Approval of the Idea by the team and associates.
- Step 5: Conduct the SWOT(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis for the final feasibility test of the new project. SWOT refers to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Step 6:Making an Idea workable by modifying and crafting it. The organisation takes this step after testing it for compatibility and feasibility.
Hurdles in Intrapreneurship
An Idea of an intrapreneurship is still not very well understood, even though it has been around for decades. The improper execution of an intrapreneurship can be a disaster for the company and the employees involved. Hence, an intrapreneurship is not an easy journey. The most common hurdles in an intrapreneurship today are:
There are always multiple CEOs in an intrapreneurship, shifting strategy and priorities over time. The team members could get frustrated and confused under inconsistent leadership, and it, in turn, hinders progress.
The first step intrapreneurs take to locate previously ignored opportunities, and they then pool their resources to seize them. Here, the intrapreneur and the organisation's strategy alignment is natural. Traditional business owners, however, rarely succeed in bringing their intended products to market.
Funding an intrapreneurship is great when times are good. But, it also introduces uncertainty outside the intrapreneur’s control.
It is challenging for the organisation to identify an intrapreneur within an employee. Hence, the human resource department should be careful when acquiring the most talented employees.
Though some employees are passionate about their work, many do not take Intrapreneurship seriously. Keeping themselves away might raise a problem within the organisation, leading to cultural issues between them.
So, an intrapreneurship can prove to be a game-changer for established corporations. It provides not just one but two benefits to the intrapreneur- the financial backing of the company and the freedom to pursue and experiment with innovative projects. Your business can reap the rewards of an intrapreneurship from top to bottom. They say that the Intrapreneurs are the dreamers who do! This blog discussed the term intrapreneurship and its importance and features. Stay tuned for more!
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