How do you recognise an intrapreneur? That’s easy: just look for your driven employees who stand out for their enthusiasm and propensity to step outside the box, willing to devote all their energy to a common goal. The hard part? Working how to benefit from their initiative to positively transform your business.
Do your employees loathe the humdrum routine and dream of innovation? Are they constantly questioning how things are run? That’s fantastic: you probably have some budding intrapreneurs in your ranks. Regardless of their age, background, job or department, they have a keen interest in the company’s operations and are always full of ideas on how they can be improved. They won’t shy away from taking the initiative, even if it might upset their superiors.
At a time where over half of young people aspire to be their own boss, businesses have good reason to pinpoint these people and provide them with everything they need to flourish. Properly channelling their energy can result in highly profitable ventures.
And although this enthusiasm is entirely self-motivated, it’s not detrimental to the company. An intrapreneur is not necessarily egocentric; on the contrary, they are happy to be part of the collective intelligence as long as they feel it is for a worthy cause. You should remember that they are more open to horizontal discussions with their peers than the hierarchal workflows. An intrapreneur doesn’t want to be managed, he wants to contribute.
Canalising the intrapreneur and encouraging innovation
The difficulty comes in identifying, unifying and equipping these transformation instigators. Given their anti-establishment leanings, they require a different management approach to that of checks and performance metrics: to remain invested, the intrapreneur must have a sense of fulfilment. You must give their job a meaning and allow them the freedom to undertake their own initiatives by providing the proper company-wide framework, in other words, innovation management. It needs both structural elements (a platform, tools, events, etc.) and an established culture of risk taking, experimenting and the right to fail.
On top of improving operations, efficient and visible innovation management is a huge recruitment asset, especially for highly sought-after professions where workplace conditions and freedom to take the initiative are major factors in the decision process.
Marrying personal ambition with business objectives
Whether we say intrapreneurship or corporate hacking, companies must deal with people who are destined to become their best resource for innovating, developing new business and revolutionizing the workflow. Keeping close track of employees who want change and are constantly abreast of the latest innovations is the best way to spot opportunities and bring about change. In other words, supporting and promoting innovation in house is the best way to ensure your best talents actively contribute to you staying ahead in an increasingly cutthroat environment.
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