Business owners are continually looking for ways to achieve sustainable growth for their business. Unfortunately much of the time there isn’t a quick fix and it takes time and work to achieve this. Is intrapreneurship the way for you to develop a more sustainable business model?
What is intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship (as opposed to entrepreneurship) takes place within an organisation. It’s about encouraging individuals and teams within the company to take a more enterprising approach. Allowing staff to be responsive to the needs of the customer means that those on the frontline can use their experience and ideas to improve the customer experience.
Nothing stays still for long when it comes to business and often the service we provide to our customers’ needs to change and adapt to ensure that we are delivering the best possible customer experience. For the leaders of the business this is not always easy – they often aren’t close enough to the customer to understand the customer journey and how it can be improved.
By implementing intrapreneurship and encouraging staff at all levels to become involved you now have a larger range of people on the lookout for ideas to help the business grow. Intrapreneurship is a more strategically responsive option more likely to produce longer term, profitable working solutions.
Why encourage intrapreneurship?
In this immense time of change where so much more is available to consumers, clients have higher expectations than ever before. They are looking for a business that understands their needs and provides for them as efficiently as possible. In order to do this staff need to know what they can do to respond to need. How far are they able to go and do they see a possible opportunity to move the idea forward?
By allowing staff to be involved in the business it makes them a greater part of the organisation and encourages engagement. In order for staff to be intrapreneurial they need to understand, and be involved in, the business at a deeper level. They must understand the goals of the organisation and how it plans to achieve them.
Considerations for the business
There are three key elements of intrapreneurial ideas that staff can develop:
- money saving ideas and initiatives
- other routes to market and improvements to current services or products (eg amending them for a new market etc)
- developing new ideas or additional offerings for the business
To be able to come up with new ideas and initiatives and execute them your staff will need:
- knowledge of the business goals and plans
- trust that they will be supported, encouraged and not punished if an idea doesn’t work
- a sense of pride in their work
- an understanding of customer need and a willingness to put the customers at the heart of all ideas and decision-making
- support from others – their colleagues and management
- confidence to give things a try
- resilience to try again when things fail.
Enterprise within a company is not a new concept. For smaller companies, it is probably not an idea that many have considered. It can benefit the business in increasing its income and profitability but it can also develop more committed staff members. Motivated staff members are less likely to leave and have great pride in their work. You end up with happier, more motivated staff and a greater customer experience which can only be good for the business.
For more information about Rebecca’s work on intrapreneurship visit www.rebeccajones.biz and keep an eye out for her forthcoming book on enterprise within companies.