Top 3 Reasons to Promote Intrapreneurship in Your Company Today, organizations that leverage the potential of entrepreneurial talent at all levels clearly cut out a competitive edge for themselves

By Shridhar Taparia

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Historically across the globe, as companies cement an established position for themselves, there is an accompanying dwindling pace of innovation in their approach that dampens their growth

Once a company solidifies its position, the investors tend to turn much more conservative, while the management displays far lesser entrepreneurial spirit. The processes become inefficient under strictly defined corporate hierarchies and the result is a sense of complacency affecting the employees. Unfortunately, this often takes the form of the company losing out its market share to the newer or more innovative companies, or the worst case being forced out of business. Classic examples of this would be Nokia and Kodak amidst the many others.

While this has been the pattern over the years, the dangers are even more acute in the present day. As technology and automation have now simplified and economized redundant processes immensely, the enterprising role of human resources has become far more critical in meandering growth trajectories.

Today, organizations that leverage the potential of entrepreneurial talent at all levels clearly cut out a competitive edge for themselves. Given the status quo, nurturing intrapreneurship offers the ideal opportunity to attract and motivate employees to perform their best and work on innovation for a collaborative growth for their career and the company.

What Is Intrapreneurship?

Intrapreneurship refers to the act of exhibiting the result-oriented behaviour of an entrepreneur while being a salaried employee of the company. It injects the kind of speed and flexibility in an established organization that is only imaginable in a startup.

Intrapreneurs typically engage in creative problem solving, take calculated risks and work relentlessly towards innovation and organizational growth.

The Gmail inbox, Google AdSense, Mac, iPhone, Post-It sticky notes are examples of some of the fruits reaped by the most iconic companies on account of encouraging intrapreneurship.

Now, as the owner of a business or a senior management professional, you might still feel hesitant or find it counter-intuitive to promote intrapreneurship within your company and decentralize control and decision-making. Think again before making your mind against it, based on the following benefits for companies encouraging intrapreneurship.

Here are three key advantages for which you must consider promoting intrapreneurship in your company-

1. Innovate and Maintain Your Company's Competitive Edge

In the highly competitive and fast-paced business environment of today, innovating with agility is the only sure shot formula to retain the market share and achieve continued business growth. Companies that fail to innovate meaningfully often find themselves losing the market share or worst their business.

In that regard, encouraging intrapreneurship as a culture within your company can help to create and sustain the enthusiasm and momentum needed to propel the organization towards innovation-led growth.

Intrapreneurship empowers talent with the freedom and motivation to identify new opportunities and find actionable solutions to tap into those opportunities. If your employees are only buried under hierarchy and find themselves at the risk of losing their next promotion or job for one wrong decision, they're less likely to try to think out of the box or challenge the status quo with something unique. Taking a personal example from my career, we at "Desi Atta Company' (one of India's fastest growing alternative flour brands from the house of Future Group) have developed some of our current top-selling and loved products, like beetroot Atta (pink) and spinach Atta (green), because of the intrapreneurial culture instilled amongst our team members.

2. Attract and Retain the Best talent

The best kind of talent in any organization is not one that simply obeys orders, but that which can identify problems, come up with meaningful solutions and work relentlessly towards implementing those solutions.

Acquiring and more importantly being able to retain such resources in the organization has a lot to do with culture and the internal environment. Companies with a reputation for nurturing intrapreneurs tend to attract people with the most promising kind of skill set.

Moreover, if you end up hiring enterprising individuals in your company and bury them in the hierarchy with little freedom to exercise creative thinking, they are far less likely to feel satisfied in the job. A natural consequence of this will be lower productivity and a higher turnover rate. Both of these outcomes can prove costly for your company, and suboptimal against the win-win alternative possible. Moreover, the worst case, if they end up switching to work for your competitors who value their skills and empower them, it can prove to be a blunder for you.

3. Foster True Leadership across The Organization

Finally, the relevance of great leadership in an organization can never be overstated. If you are successful at making your people feel more influential and empowered, they're more likely to perform at their best and raise the bar of success even higher.

When deserving people are given freedom and real responsibilities, they're bound to feel motivated, perform better, and emerge as true leaders. Therefore, nurturing intrapreneurship fosters leadership skills across the organization. This improved leadership, in turn, navigates the organization better. It inspires others to do better and contributes towards a healthy, self-motivated working environment for all. It's important to realize that fuelling this virtue is relevant for any organizational level, and it must not be restricted to only the senior positions.

At Future Group, every brand is headed by a COE (Cadre of Entrepreneur) who is responsible for running the brand independently and identifying and activation all possible levers to ensure its rapid growth. Such freedom coupled with a sense of responsibility ensures the results are achieved much faster.

If you are hesitant about embracing a culture that promotes intrapreneurship in your organization, you must think again. After all, it's a proven way to build an agile organization that takes innovative strides forward.

Shridhar Taparia

brand strategist at the Future Group & Intrapreneur Desi Atta Company.

Shridhar Taparia is the brand strategist at the Future Group and the intrapreneur for their brand Desi Atta Company.

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