Creating Business Growth Through Intrapreneurship
Intrapreneurship is defined as the act of behaving like an entrepreneur, while working within a large organization.
Last week, we held a panel discussion about Intrapreneurship with a few select business owners from the Chicagoland area. During the discussion, many parallels appeared between the panelists as they discussed the best practices for fostering cultures of innovation and intrapreneurship within their companies.
Why should I encourage Intrapreneurship?
- Increased Market Share: Innovation can help gain footholds in markets and products that may align with your business.
- Necessity: What if a recession happens? Would your business be ok? Innovation fosters ideas, which increases opportunities for new channels of revenue. Maybe you have a vendor that just isn’t meeting your needs and you think it’s time for a change. Do you have the resources to do it yourself? Why not eliminate the vendor and build a new channel of revenue?
- Increased Value: Customers are always looking for ways to make their businesses or lives run more smoothly. Talk with your clients. How can you help them even more? Prove your value and show why your company is irreplaceable.
How can I create a foundation for Innovation?
- Support the idea that failures will occur within your business. If you want the omelet, you have to be ok with breaking some eggs.
- Promote and reward the ability to change. Inflexible personalities and over-inflated egos only slow the process of innovation. Reward those who are eager to improve on your business and remove those who are in the way.
- Involve all employees in developing new ideas and processes. Increased involvement in the development of an organization leads to increased engagement from employees, while also widening your net of resources. This is also a great way to keep family members with passions outside of the family business involved and engaged in the development of the organization.
Creating a foundation of innovation and intrapreneurship is no easy task. It will take time and resources, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Better morale, more channels for revenue and increased engagement amongst employees will improve your business in more ways than you can imagine. In business, progress is key; those who stand still may get left behind.