An intrapreneur is a person who essentially has an entrepreneurial mindset and works to improve your business like it is theirs. For your reference, please read our primer on intrapreneurs here.
If you’re a business owner., it is your responsibility to bring intrapreneurs into your team. However, it isn’t the same as looking for sand on the beach. You won’t find these type of people everywhere, so you will have to help your team members becoming one.
It will take a little dedication, commitment, and effort. However, if you apply a little elbow grease, you can get the intrapreneurial culture going in your company.
Now, let’s dive into the dynamics of building an intrapreneurial culture.
1. Identify those with potential
Different people are suited to different roles. Some are perfect being followers and doing as they’re told. In their defense, they often do the job excellently and deliver on schedule. But, they need to be told what to do.
An intrapreneur, on the other hand, wouldn’t quite wait to be told what to do. These are the people you should look out for. Keep your eyes peeled for those workers who ask for clarity on performing tasks if things don’t go as planned. It’s an indication that they’re willing to go a little further than expected. Also, look out for proactive ones who don’t often hesitate to take on new tasks. These are the people who have potential in your company, and they should take the bulk of your efforts.
2. Empower your employees
There’s only so much an intrapreneur can do if they do not have the right tools, skills, or abilities to complete certain tasks. So, as much as you want to get intrapreneurs, you need to put structures in place to help them get their work done.
To this end, you could provide your employees with state-of-the-art tools to get their jobs done. You could also register them for pieces of training to improve their chances of developing an intrapreneurial mindset and abilities. Whatever you do, don’t merely leave them stagnant.
3. Encourage a little risk-taking
The fear of risk stifles entrepreneurs. Considering the similarity between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, it only makes sense that the anxiety affects their work too.
You cannot keep threatening your staff with sack letters every time they try to do things differently. You cannot keep telling them they’ll bear the consequences of their actions if they don’t follow your procedures strictly and without fail.
It’s your responsibility to allow a little room for them to explore their abilities. Of course, you should regulate this so that the growing/developing ones don’t harm your business. However, it would help if you let them take risks here and there.
Once they get comfortable with trying new things and challenging themselves, they’ll have no choice but to practice their newfound penchant for innovation with your company. When that happens, you’ll likely reap the rewards.
4. Give them time and space
Granted, you’re the boss. As such, you need to keep a close eye on whatever is going on within the company. This helps you to monitor progress and gives you a fair amount of satisfaction, knowing that things are going as they should.
However, this can do more harm than good sometimes. You see, for people to come up with new ideas and develop an intrapreneurial culture, they need to have a little breathing space. So, as much as you can, give your workers all the time they need to complete projects and bring new ideas within the confines of reasons.
Of course, you can’t allow them to slack off. But, you can help gear them up for intrapreneurship by giving them a little time and space.
5. Try positive reinforcement
The carrot and stick method is an excellent way to get people to improve. When they do well, you give them the carrot (reward.) When they perform below standard, you give them the stick (fines, queries, etc.)
However, if the stick becomes too much, it could be counterproductive. Rather than try to develop new ideas, your employees will simply try to please you and play by the rules, so they don’t get punished instead of thinking about new ideas.
So, try to reinforce them positively. When they come up with a new idea, applaud them. When they don’t execute things perfectly, don’t be so quick to come down in fire and brimstone. Instead, acknowledge the good parts of their efforts and help them get better.
Building an intrapreneurial culture in your company will take patience, hard work, dedication, and knowledge. In this article, we’ve covered a few things you can do to build that culture, but the topic is so broad, we could write an entire book about it. If you do want to learn, it’d be a great idea to get signed up for the Pervium Training.