5 Tips to Cultivate a Culture of Intrapreneurism

Debbie Wooldridge
Posted: June 11, 2019

I recently read a press release about Peter Fukunaga being awarded Corporate Intrapreneur of the Year by the Hawaii Venture Capital Association.  The Corporate Intrapreneur of the Year creatively challenges traditions and assertively makes changes in their company culture to ensure fellow employees in their environment and their field are engaged and provides the platform to be intrapreneurial. This company encourages intrapreneurs to seize opportunities by solving problems and takes the required actions, utilizing resources to make innovation happen.

Related: 3 Ways to Reinforce Culture Values in Your Training Curriculum

So what did Peter do that was so innovative? He brought forth the idea for a new way to bring mobility to residents and visitors looking for access to a vehicle without purchasing a car or dealing with traditional car rental challenges. This innovation has revolutionized the idea of car sharing while increasing the profits and service options of his company.

What kind of impact do you think you could have in your company if you had an environment that nurtured and supported employees to think that there is no box – no boundaries! But, attracting and retaining team members requires your company to create a culture for Intrapreneurism. Intrapreneurs are individuals that demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit within an organization.  And, are essential to your company’s ability to remain competitive and experiencing growth.

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Here are five ways to build foster an intrapreneurial culture to ensure your company can attract and retain extraordinary talent:

  1. Curate an environment of innovation: Does your company culture support an environment where new ideas are encouraged, nurtured and followed up.  One of the strongest characteristics of an Intraprenuer is their ability to come up with a business idea, a new solution to a problem that is plaguing your industry or customers or a new service.  And, like a dog with a bone, this person rarely gives up on what they envisioned. Intrapreneurs grow that seed of an idea into a plan or that solution into action. And, if they aren’t encouraged or allowed to do this in your company, the Intrapreneur will likely take that brilliant solution somewhere else (possibly your competitor!).
  2. Operate with transparency: Trust your team members with key company information including insights into overall strategy as well as including them in operational decision making that impacts the entire company.  This level of trust opens the door for them to help generate new ideas that can help increase productivity and profitability. This also makes them feel more invested in the business and its success.
  3. Encourage both collaboration and competition: Intrapreneurs need a healthy mix of both collaboration and competition. An environment of collaboration is essential for teams to work well together to bring an idea from germination to implementation.  Collaboration allows for leveraging the collective thought processing.  However; instilling an environment of healthy competition is also important as it motivates team members to challenge one another and raise the bar on innovation.

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  1. Reward take charge behavior: Establish an environment where intrapreneurs are equipped with decision making ability and independence. Intrapreneurs need the ability to feel ownership for the improvements and advancement they have generated. These employees also need to be rewarded for taking on this ownership.  Look to your company incentive programs to see where Intrapreneurship can be rewarded.
  2. Make it acceptable to fail: Not all ideas are going to succeed – create an environment where failure is embraced as an important part of the growth process. One way to lessen the financial or time loss due to a failed idea is to think about how your organization can set up ways to quickly testing various iterations of an idea in an inexpensive or low-risk environment. Use an agile processing to bring the idea to a minimum viable state for testing.

Companies that embrace and encourage Intrapreneurism are the companies that will continue to grow and thrive.

Want more tips and ideas on how to create a culture of Intrapreneurism in your company? “A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur” is the perfect hands-on guide to spark change in your organization. Are you ready to become an Intrapreneur yourself? Reach out for a copy of “Unleashing the Intrapreneur: Changing the Face of Corporate America One Millennial at a Time” to uncover how to establish your vision, thrive and communicate confidently at work.


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