What if we told you that even the largest companies in the world were the hotbed for a stagnant culture before they found the benefits of intrapreneurship?
Silicon Valley, the world’s pre-eminent hub for technological innovation, is not only home to the world’s high-tech corporations and startups, but it hosts the best talent from across the globe as well.
However, these large MNCs encountered and some of them still encounter problems, such as:
- Low Morale
- Misalignment of personal goals and organizational goals
- Economic distress
- Barely any innovation or new invention
- Stagnant work culture
- Succumbing to rapid market advancements
So after careful consideration, evaluation, and strategizing, these companies, such as Apple, Google, HP, and so on, found the reason.
Highly talented people are often driven by their desire to innovate, work on amazing projects, and practice autonomy over their work.
Therefore, while the valley is a hub of opportunities, people still feel unhappy. This realization helped smart businesses to become intrapreneurship companies and reap the benefits of intrapreneurial activities by their employees.
Benefits of Intrapreneurship in an Organization
The search for benefits of intrapreneurship is not a new phenomenon. Managers and leaders like yourself have been looking for reasons to introduce a sustainable culture that provides a competitive edge.
Intrapreneurship, which refers to harnessing the entrepreneurial spirits of employees and encouraging them to pursue opportunities within the organization, has the benefits as discussed below.
Employee Engagement and Retention
66% of employee ideas are lost, and innovation capture never happens.
Can you imagine the frustration level of employees? Can we blame them for becoming disengaged from organizational activities and goals?
And these disengaged employees, in turn, have a 15% lower profitability for their companies.
So when you embrace an intrapreneurship approach, you equip employees with:
- A sense of ownership and autonomy.
- The opportunity to pursue innovative ideas regardless of the resources they currently control.
- High motivation towards completing their existing tasks and taking on new challenges.
- The tool to share their small or significant ideas directly through a centralized platform.
- A dynamic and supportive culture that celebrates an individual’s quest to seek meaningful and challenging work experiences.
When you provide the means to unlock true entrepreneurial potential and spirit, you increase employee engagement and retention automatically.
And, as a study by Bonusly proves, “Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to look for another job.”
Learning by Example
Google enables its employees to dedicate 20% of their work hours to personal projects and very clearly accepts intrapreneurship as a fundamental aspect of its culture.
Their approach led them to successful employee innovations, such as Google Maps, Gmail, Google Adwords, and so on.
Related Read: A simple idea that made millions – Swan Vesta matches
A report by Catalyst suggests that by 2030, the United States is expected to lose $430 billion due to low talent retention.
Now that we learned that one of the advantages of intrapreneurship is employee retention, we understand that it helps our business grow financially. But how?
#1 Competitive Advantage
Intrapreneurs, by nature, are competitive and aim to stay ahead of the competition through their blue-sky thinking.
So when you support their initiatives, they can do wonders for your business growth:
- Identify emerging market trends.
- Create a blue ocean strategy and new business opportunities.
- Differentiate your products and services from the rest.
- Establish premium pricing.
#2 Cost Savings
When you support the top talent internally, you practice resourcefulness. It immediately leads to cost savings in various aspects, for example, employees choose to stick to your team, thus, reducing new employee hiring and training costs.
Intrapreneurs look for ways to streamline processes, eliminate efficiencies and waste, and optimize the resources at hand, which naturally improves a company’s financial performance and profitability.
#3 Revenue Generation
The main benefit of employing intrapreneurs is the development of new products, features, services, processes, and improved workflow.
Once the culture is successfully implemented, it drives growth and additional revenue streams.
Empowered employees take ownership of everything they do, create, and perform, enabling you to unlock the untapped potential of your workforce.
#4 Market Expansion
In-house entrepreneurs help you identify market gaps, customer needs, and potential solutions. They come up with ideas to enter a new market altogether and target various customer segments and untapped geographic areas.
Their solution-driven approach enables you to increase your customer base and revenue potential.
#5 Customer Satisfaction
Naturally, when you have a good sense of new market bases and customer needs, you can invest in finding solutions for the pain points.
Customer-oriented companies must empower employees to take control of customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is the only way to create repeat business and profit.
Learning by Example
The classic example of 3M scientist Spencer Silver, who developed the Post-It Note that became a global success, is enough to demonstrate how intrapreneurial activities are a great revenue generator.
Related Read: 3M Innovation strategy: The post-it notes idea capture
Investment in Intellectual Property
Parveen George, a senior product manager at Samsung R&D Institute – Bangalore (SRI-B), used his intrapreneurial spirit to solve a critical customer problem and come up with a pioneering business innovation.
He eradicated the lack of financing for electronic appliances by introducing Samsung Finance+, a digital lending platform with multiple NBFCs. This platform enables customers to purchase Samsung products via loans.
So far, this platform is present in 70000 plus stores in India and has helped 7 million customers.
Can you imagine the loss of Intellectual Property creation that SRI-B would have suffered if they did not build and support an intrapreneurial culture in their organization?
Not only was one of their employees able to create an IP, but he also contributed to new product development, advanced research, new customer acquisition, and value innovation.
This example shows us how intrapreneurial activities lead to innovation and development of IP assets, such as patents and trademarks.
Do we even need to emphasize how intrapreneurs can be your investment in intellectual property?
It’s high time you establish innovation management software to capture innovation and enjoy potential revenue streams through them.
Pro tip: It’s still rare to have organizations provide a path to intrapreneurship to their employees. You can get started immediately by introducing a professional tool customized to your unique business needs.
Intrapreneurship for Innovation
Intrapreneurship is going one step forward in establishing an innovation culture.
Although you need an innovation management system to capture innovation, intrapreneurship culture gets the ball rolling.
Attention: You must recognize that when we talk about intrapreneurship, anyone can be an intrapreneur in your organization that can come up with a groundbreaking idea or solution. You must treat everyone justly and capture every idea coming your way.
It encourages employees to:
- Think outside the box.
- Explore more, regardless of the tools and resources they currently have.
- Take risks and venture into uncertainty.
- Tap into their creativity.
- Develop new products, services, and processes.
Innovation is the key to staying competitive, and you must learn how to capture it successfully.
And remember, even if a new venture doesn’t succeed, the learnings are still valuable for both the employees and your organization.
Learning by Example
One of the recent updates in iPhones that caught the attention was the change in the UI for Alarms.
Apple employees have yet again pursued a new idea and tackled a daily challenge for their customers, i.e., waking up on time.
They have significantly reduced the size of the Stop button for the ringing alarm on the screen and given it a gray color. And now I’m just speaking from experience that you have to open both your eyes and find that little bugger to stop the alarm.
I mean, that’s innovation for customer experience right there!
Related Read: Apple innovation strategy: How Steve Jobs Inspired His Teams to Innovate
The most evident benefit of intrapreneurship remains the reformulation of the organization and its strategic plans.
The more accepting an organization is towards entrepreneurs, the more we can experience:
- A learning culture across different verticals in the organization.
- New skills, knowledge, and experiences.
- A healthy and constructive feedback mechanism.
- An agile approach to projects and product journeys.
- A culture of innovation.
- A vibrant and positive work environment.
- Increased job satisfaction and engagement.
- New avenues for bringing personal and organizational vision and mission together.
Learning by Example
Atlassian, a software company, invests proactively in fostering an intrapreneurial mindset and culture. Their management team encourages employees to explore new ideas and offers dedicated time to work on innovative projects.
Atlassian strongly promotes teamwork and collaboration. Maybe that’s how they came up with the idea for Team Central that streamlines communication and improves productivity.
Security in an Unpredictable Market Landscape
As Paul Gardener, the CEO of Fresh Accounting in Hong Kong said, “Not every idea will be a success, or there may not be an immediate payback on the investments, but in order for companies to continually develop, they have to keep investing in new ideas.”
Intrapreneurship injects a sense of agility into the organization. In today’s highly volatile business landscape, it enables organizations to be adaptable and experimental in their ventures.
Intrapreneurship encourages a dynamic approach to market conditions, changing customer preferences, and technological innovations.
It helps us remain proactive toward future problems and needs.
Learning by Example
Volatile markets demand constant adaptability and mitigating risks. Adobe’s intrapreneurship initiatives provide a framework for mitigating such risks.
Their Kickbox program provides employees with resources to test and validate their ideas through a phased approach, reducing the probability of future failures. It enables them to take celebrated risks, experiment and learn, and establish their position in the market landscape.
Knowledge Nugget: Intrapreneurship vs Entrepreneurship
Defectors are always going to be there in any organization. You cannot stop someone from starting their own entrepreneurship journey. However, you can create a safe culture within your organization that cares about the entrepreneurial spirit of its employees and backs their ventures.
Whether you’re a large organization based out of Silicon Valley or a small business based out of a small town, your expectations remain the same, i.e., growth in every aspect.
And even if you identify yourself as an entrepreneur, you’ll need a team of intrapreneurs to grow your startup. You just cannot do without understanding intrapreneurship and its benefits.
We recommend you start your journey by leveraging idea management software.