Companies are under immense pressure to innovate. Nearly 88% of companies listed in 1955’s Fortune 500 were no longer present in 2015. Disruptive business models enabled by technological advances could replace entire industries seemingly overnight.
However, an organization’s ability to innovate depends on its teams. Without innovative people, a company can’t produce innovative ideas. But attracting, retaining and motivating innovative employees can be challenging for organizations who also have to optimize their current products and services.
In this context, a new source of innovation has emerged: the intrapreneur.
What is an intrapreneur?
An intrapreneur is an employee that has the same mentality as an entrepreneur. They think big and go beyond expectations to develop innovative ideas. Where other employees see problems, intrapreneurs see opportunities.
Intrapreneurship helps companies become more innovative and develop better products and services. Since they operate outside the well-established paths within the organization, intrapreneurs can push companies out of their comfort zones and help them identify – and take advantage of – previously unseen opportunities.
Every successful organization needs intrapreneurs. They are your top performers, your game changers. And they’re not motivated by money. They want to learn, grow, and have a positive impact on the organization and the world around them.
This makes it tricky to retain them. Since they gravitate toward stimulating, meaningful work, you need to make sure that work is available to them within your organization. The last thing you want is for your most driven employees to take their innovative new ideas elsewhere.
Enabling an intrapreneurial culture
You don’t need to create intrapreneurs in order to create an intrapreneurial culture. These individuals are already working for you. The task is to recognize and enable them. A recent Deloitte study found that more than 20% of all employees exhibited some degree of entrepreneurial activity. Unfortunately, organizational culture often stifles their spirit, forcing them to seek fulfilling projects elsewhere.
There are simple things companies can put in place to encourage intrapreneurship within their workplace cultures. Giving employees access to internal gigs – meaningful short- or long-term projects that produce tangible outcomes – can help mobilize the dormant intrapreneurs with your organization.
Using an internal gig platform
An internal gig platform can provide entrepreneurially-minded employees with easy access to the types of projects that get them excited. It keeps the passion and creativity in-house, allowing your organization to benefit from increased competitiveness, innovation and retention.
Internal gigs also allow employees in the organization whose career paths have stagnated to try out new roles or tasks within the organization. This helps retain talent while also inspiring a passion for new types of work among those who may otherwise have seen productivity and engagement levels decline.
vi’s internal gig platform for example matches skills and experience to each project and suggests tasks to people that they may not have attempted – or even considered – before. It helps foster stronger social ties within the organization as cross-functional teams collaborate on specific gigs. And it helps activate latent passion and creativity among team members whose job roles may not always allow for creative expression or the challenging of ideas.
Giving people the opportunity to try something new may inspire latent intrapreneurship. But it’s vital that companies implement appropriate support and reward systems, and that their organizational culture allows for intrapreneurial ideas to have a chance at being implemented within the organization.
Learn about vi’s internal gig platform
vi’s gig technology platform enables team leaders and managers to create short- and long-term projects and promote them throughout the organization.
To learn more, follow the link below to book a quick demo.