Will Read, CEO and Founder of Sideways 6 .
The rise of groundbreaking technologies in recent years has produced a mass culture of constant innovation, as businesses look to stay ahead of the game and differentiate from their competitors. While this responsibility used to lay heavily upon the shoulders of the decision-makers within the business, the ever-growing demand for new ways to improve has made way for a new kind of employee – the intrapreneur.
Pioneered by some of the world’s largest companies, the rise of the intrapreneur has encouraged more and more employees to be innovative within the company they work for. Today, many of the biggest breakthrough ideas from some of the world’s largest companies have come as the result of the initiative shown by employees, with a desire to make a difference and drive the business forward.
From Apple’s Mac to Google’s Gmail, encouraging an intrapreneurial mindset amongst staff has proven invaluable for accelerating innovation and opening up new opportunities for success. Given its huge potential to generate such impactful ideas, companies around the world should now look to these success stories in order to embrace their own intrapreneurs and drive innovation in all corners of the business.
However, embracing the creativity and determination of these employees is not only essential for thinking up new ways for large businesses to remain both innovative and agile. Giving intrapreneurs the time and resources they need to create and nurture ideas for business transformation is also incredibly effective in making employees feel valued and motivated within a large workforce.
For those just beginning their careers, finding a company which supports their ability to generate ideas can be the starting point for a very successful intrapreneurial journey. Businesses who look to take on candidates with the skills and abilities to take ownership, hungry to earn results and creative enough to come up with different routes to achieve this will build a solid foundation for a successful cohort of intrapreneurs.
That said, not only is employing the right people important for enabling this, keeping those same employees motivated and committed to the business is key for ensuring this culture is maintained. My own experience shows that entrepreneurs often start by investing ideas and skills into helping an existing business to improve, before moving on to their own ventures. Therefore, it is vital that companies provide these employees with the time and space to develop and ensure they are happy to help build that company for as long as possible.
It comes as no surprise that individuals who are recognised for their dedication to helping the business develop are most likely to serve as long standing pillars within that company, with the knowledge to spot new ways for the company to progress and the experience to know how best to implement them. Therefore, ensuring that employees feel valued and their hard work appreciated in their role is essential in achieving this.
Although it becomes increasingly challenging as companies grow and workforces expand, listening to the ideas of employees, understanding them and finding ways to act upon them is fundamental to enabling intrapreneurship in business of all sizes. For these employees to flourish, decision makers must show the commitment required for employees to feel as though ideas are being heard and that they can make a tangible impact on the future of the business.
With the emergence of new technologies and businesses able to invest more into their employees, decision makers are now presented with many ways to easily embrace the ideas of their staff. It is important they understand the positive effect that even just one small change can have when it comes to getting the best from their staff and taking their business forward.