Most Leaders encourage mid and senior level managers to empower and engage their employees. They ask their employees demonstrate ownership of their responsibilities and build an ecosystem that promotes freedom and incorporates support structures to succeed. The term that exists for this is intrapreneurship.
Intrapreneurs find new problems to solve, new markets to enter; they summon inhuman levels of initiative to craft solutions and make it market ready. All this within the scope and resources of the organization. Intrapreneurs understand that organizational risks are great – but so, are the potential rewards too. That kind of mindset can push creative thinking and new opportunities at even the largest of companies.
Many companies enjoy their long tenure market position and sit comfortably within that space. If we have learnt anything from companies like Nokia and Kodak, its comfort breeds complacency in a market that changes with amazing speed and in unpredictable ways. A Deloitte Whitepaper reports that 88% of Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are no longer present. Adapting to this market change is a big problem. It could be argued that intrapreneurial thinking is the way around this dilemma. Who better at navigating a business through the currents of the modern marketplace than individuals who are as fast, agile and committed to organizational success?
Intrapreneurial thinking starts with a leader who breathes and represents the company culture. So how can you encourage your employees to be successful Intrapreneurs?
Be Transparent and Listen:
Put your best foot forward by communicating openly, regardless of individual roles. You can make your employees feel connected and more involved with business activities and processes. It is equally important to collect feedback and listen. Listening is key to spotting a good opportunity and telling a compelling story. Entrenching listening into the culture of the organization means that every employee is tuned to discern what the customer really needs.
Respect Ideas. Appreciate proactive behavior:
Intrapreneurs like entrepreneurs believe in their ideas. Encouraging an intrapreneurial mindset means projecting the message “We value your ideas and you” in bold! As the ideas take shape to reality, let go of control and invest in a “hands-off” approach. When you build a strong culture based on transparency and listening, you have to keep faith that you can trust every employee to do the right thing. Reward the employees who took ownership and found ways to come up with new solutions or ways to increase efficiency or sales.
Think – “What if we were a startup?”
Whether the project is in an inception stage or fixing issues down the road, it could help to adopt some of that startup mentality. Ask – “What would we do differently in a startup setting? How would we attract customers? Would we sit on an issue while worrying about scale or resolve it right away?”
This kind of thinking makes for agile organizations and great turnaround times that deliver amazing value and service.
Be aware of market realities and keep learning:
Mix it up and call in experts from various fields to talk to your teams. If there is a need to disrupt, introduce outside elements into the mix. Organizations who foster the Intrapreneurial spirit allow the possibility of finding fresh ideas. Create or visit events, webinars, or conferences. Talk to stalwarts and innovators alike. Create opportunities for your employees that can influence and light up their imagination.
Some healthy competition is fine but dissolve silos:
A healthy sense of competition can motivate teams and get results. But they also run the risk of alienating themselves from the rest of their tribe. As a leader, it’s your job leverage collaboration over competition. Your employees must understand that, despite being smaller groups of people working on different projects, we are all one big team.
At SimuRise, we encourage an Intrapreneurial spirit and even help our clients come to terms with this powerful dynamic present in their own organizations. We have tools – business simulations that awaken the dormant intrapreneur, questions limiting beliefs, dispels disempowering behaviors and old rugged mindsets. This is a video of BNP Paribas Wealth Management Team, building their intrapreneurial attitudes and learning something different about themselves through the power of FreshBiz.
If you want to change your team’s mindset, broaden their thinking and help them embrace new behaviors, connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org