A common observation seen in many organisations – start-ups or established – is that soon enough complacency sets in. Things have been set in motion; business is thriving; goals have been achieved; that’s when many entrepreneurs decide to take it easy.
And that sounds the death knell for many a company. The foundation of a business, any business, is innovation and continual reinvention. Contentment is its biggest enemy. Encourage and cultivate the spirit of innovation within your organisation and it will have a direct impact on your growth.
Some of the best examples of innovation in the corporate world come from intrapreneurship. Gmail, the Facebook ‘Like’ button and even 3M’s Post-Its are all examples of employees who thought of a brilliant idea and saw it through with the encouragement and support of the company.
The biggest advantage an intrapreneur has is that the usual risks associated with entrepreneurship do not interfere with the ideation and creation process because there are none to incur.
This does not mean that intrapreneurs are reckless with an organisation’s resources. On the contrary, they have an inherent respect for the value and importance of money. Their innovative ideas originate from a place that comprehends the economic drivers that facilitate an organisation’s growth and success. This belief allows them to work with the organisation and not fight it.
An intrapreneur’s mind is always in motion. Ideas grip him and germinate in his mind till it sees the light of day. This is what differentiates him from an employee. Does this mean that an intrapreneur is stubborn? Yes, and no. While he endlessly persists in making the idea work, he isn’t afraid to change course, take suggestions or gracefully deal with the fear of failure.
An intrapreneur lives by the famous quote by Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company – “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin with, this time more intelligently.”
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When your employees know that there is no penalty for failure and it is permitted to take risks, the growth rate will escalate and you will get a competitive edge. Businesses need to be agile, more so in these times when one reads about ground-breaking innovations hitting the market daily.
Businesses that encourage a spirit of intrapreneurship and invest in their peoples’ minds are smart businesses. Empowering employees with the freedom to explore innovative ideas foster business agility, which in turn contribute to further business growth.