what is Intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship is a relatively recent concept that focuses on employees of a company that have many of the attributes of entrepreneurs. An intrapreneur is someone within a company that takes risks in an effort to solve a given problem.
Why do we need Intrapreneurship?
The talent platform
The economic downturn has applied major pressure on CIOs to do more with less. As mentioned in the previous section, CIOs have an opportunity to capitalize on their personal development efforts and change the conversation from one about technological solutions, to one of business value. Eventually the economic crises will subside and in its place, CIOs may be faced with a crisis of a different sort — the shortage of talent and the absence of a culture of innovation and “intrapreneurship,” essential for digital success.
Source: Gartner, 2016 CIO Agenda: A Russia Perspective
Cultivate "intrapreneurship" inside the IT organization
Instill and cultivate an intrapreneur culture
Successfully hunting Little Elephants is also a matter of cultivating “intrapreneurship.” “Intrapreneurs” are different from entrepreneurs, because they do not work in isolation, and they build a solid network of internal and external collaborators to mine opportunities in products, markets and channels. They recognize that innovation can spring from any point in the value chain — back office, front office and even the customer.
Intrapreneurs leave nothing to chance. They do not sit around waiting for inspiration, and they recognize that innovation is an iterative and collaborative activity. They follow a deliberate process, threshing and winnowing ideas from the innovation pipeline to extract the seeds of innovation most likely to germinate as leaps of differentiation, not merely incremental improvements.
Source: Gartner, 2014, Find the ‘Little Elephants,’ and Get Big Results From Microinnovation
Meet the Intrapreneurs
“Intrapreneurs” are different from entrepreneurs, because they do not work in isolation, and they build a solid network of internal and external collaborators to mine opportunities in products, markets and channels. They recognize that innovation can spring from any point in the value chain — back office, front office (as in, sales and marketing) and even the customer.
Intrapreneur: A person who acts like an entrepreneur, but does so inside a larger organization, rather than on their own or as part of a startup venture. They may not be managing a business venture. They are more likely to be creating, building or managing internal projects, dealing with competitors, customer or partners, with entrepreneurial fervor.
Source: Gartner, 2015, CIOs Must Develop Talented Entrepreneurs to Fuel Growth and Drive Innovation
Zero in on three entrepreneurial traits
thinking differently, seeing opportunities where others do not and demonstrating courage — and then create activities, challenges and events that will encourage prospective intrapreneurs to surface.
Focus on corporate innovation behaviors
marshaling scarce resources, dealing with uncertainty and listening intently to customers — by giving budding intrapreneurs stretch assignments that have them iterate rapidly, get in front of customers and enroll people’s support.
Organizational Culture for intrapreneurship
Give intrapreneurs the freedom to enlist talented people elsewhere in the business and to operate under different rules conducive to disruptive innovation.
Drive Entrepreneurial Awareness: Identify Personal Traits
Think Differently — Do you know people who truly think outside the box?
See Opportunities — "Entrepreneurs, in the purest sense, are those who identify a need — any need — and fill it."
Have Courage — When they see opportunities, entrepreneurs act, demonstrating courage and conviction by doggedly pursuing their beliefs, despite detractors and naysayers.
Build Capability: Grow Corporate Innovation Skills
Marshaling Scarce Resources — Budding intrapreneurs achieve big things by influencing, rallying and gaining the support of people across organizational boundaries and reporting structures.
Dealing with Uncertainty — Aspiring intrapreneurs would be asked to take on a problem that is not well-understood in a new market consisting of customers who don't yet know what they want or need. While many people would be daunted, true intrapreneurs will have a predilection and a passion for solving for uncertainty.
Listening Intently to Customers — Validating problems and testing customer hypotheses cannot be done in a vacuum.
Achieve Excellence: Transform People Into Intrapreneurs
Transforming entrepreneurial people into true intrapreneurs rarely takes place in isolation. To generate a continuous pipeline of intrapreneurs, you need to strike a balance between empowering people and putting in place the structure and systems that support innovation such as internal incubation funding and a dual-career track for intrapreneurs.