Professor Howard Stevenson from the Harvard Business School states, “maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.” But the question arises how to create a company culture that inspires motivation and innovation from employees? Searching for such a culture, many leave an old-school corporate environment.
Therefore, it depends on the leadership to create a progressive culture and encourage their employees to do it. Only having some business values or mission statement is not enough. Having a strong culture leads to consistently motivated employees and augment performance.
A study by Daniel R. Denison and Aneil K. Mishra in 1995 indicated that culture could be an integral part of the ongoing change process, and key positive culture traits can indicate an organisation’s effectiveness and performance.
What is an entrepreneurial culture?
It’s a complex term, and several definitions could be found about entrepreneurial culture. The word entrepreneurial takes its meaning from how an entrepreneur undertakes what they do and the style. Culture is defined as the values, attributes, behaviour, and beliefs that individuals learn and pass on from one generation or group to another. Therefore, the union of these two terms. “
Entrepreneurship Vs intrapreneurship
An entrepreneur is the founder, who builds, and grows their own organisation, whereas an intrapreneur works within an organisation. However, both need entrepreneurial thinking – identifying opportunities and effective strategies to capitalise on them. Entrepreneur and intrapreneur are somewhat the same things, just manifested slightly differently. Let’s explore both sides of the fence and see how you can establish your company culture.
Who is an Entrepreneur?
Someone who sets off to build their own business from scratch and has complete freedom and responsibility. An entrepreneur designs and launches a business taking all the rewards and risks that come with it.
Creating something unique in an uncontested market space. Or an iteration of an existing idea or concept, a new product in a competitive market space. Entrepreneurship comes with an inherent risk founders take on when starting their venture. When everything goes according to plan, entrepreneurs are often rewarded handsomely for their work – leading the pyramid of a large, successful venture.
However, if the venture fails, entrepreneurs are the ones who find themselves in the sinking ship. Assuming all the risks and often laden with debt, as more than 90% of startups do.
Who is an Intrapreneur?
An intrapreneur is someone who develops a new project within a company. An employee within an organisation is responsible for innovating change by giving a future direction.
Empowering your human resources to take ownership of their responsibilities and at the same time giving them freedom and support to succeed. Intrapreneurship is a practice that allows employees to be entrepreneurs within the limits of their company.
Intrapreneurs are usually given significant projects that can impact the company’s future, with access to resources, finance, and personnel. The significant difference here is the associated risk. The company will absorb all the costs and potential fallout.
Types of intrapreneurship
There are generally three types of intrapreneurs
Having at least one of these types in a company can really benefit the overall success and innovation.
The creator is the innovator and comes up with all the ideas. Always searching for better ways and thrive change with a focus on the bigger picture. Creators often don’t like structures and do not focus on the details. They always want to move on quickly, coming up with ideas but don’t want to do it themselves.
The doers focus on performing the tasks that need to be done. They take the ideas and run with them, focused on achieving results on the task at hand. Have a clear picture on the bigger scale, but always willing to drill down to the details. Doer intrapreneurs take responsibility for the task with effective communication to get the job done.
The implementers ensure that everything is completed. They are the executors and make things happen. With the knowledge of how things need to be done. They focus on the goal, are effective negotiators and can work under pressure. Implementers take the lead and motivate others to achieve the results without stopping.
“A great leader not only leads, he turns followers into leaders.” – Daren Martin
How to encourage intrapreneurship?
A company that encourages internal entrepreneurial thinking begins with a leader exemplifying it. Leaders need to foster intrapreneurship in the workplace for improved growth of the company and the employees.
Be transparent – Including your employees in decision making, trusting them with important information and tasks makes them feel valued. They will feel more involved in day-to-day business processes, irrespective of their individual roles.
Reward proactive behaviour – Managers and leaders should not try to control every detail of what their employees do. Rather they should be open, hands-off, and reward employees who take charge and find ways to improve efficiency, sales or the product on their own.
Fix problems – Issues are expected in a startup setting. That’s where the entrepreneurs must take responsibility and address the problems as they arise. If they fail to do so, it could escalate and cause the business to break down. When you instil this kind of urgency and responsibility in your employees and teach them to fix all problems right away, large or small.
Encourage healthy competition – Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurial culture promotes a healthy sense of competition to perform their best job and get results. However, the leader is responsible for ensuring the employees remember that their success is intertwined.
Organising and managing remote teams requires adopting new norms in the workplace to create a healthy work environment.
In the end, you’re all one team. Leaders should make sure people understand and feel they’re part of something bigger than themselves.
How intrapreneurship contributes to corporate innovation?
The intrapreneurs are the dreamers who perform. The ones that take on the responsibility to create innovation of any kind within a business. Intrapreneurs possess qualities such as a sense of responsibility and intrinsic motivation. They’re more than just an ideas factory. They take responsibility for managing the ideas and seeing them through to profitable reality.
Given the definitions, intrapreneurs are highly beneficial for both themselves and the organisation they are working within. Fostering an intrapreneurial culture in an organisation can result in innovative change, increased agility and results, improved efficiency, reduced costs, and increased profitability.
It helps businesses grow while adding a level of flexibility. An intrapreneur visions new and diverse opportunities, directions or ways of working for the organisation. Similarly, intrapreneurship opens the organisation’s eyes to potential leads that can bring positive change.
They think and act differently from other employees and possess characteristics suitable for senior management. Engaging these exceptional employees with different company functions has the dual benefit of helping a company identify future leaders while also training them at the same time.
Intrapreneurial culture is essential for a company as it allows employees to use their skills efficiently to benefit the company and themselves. Giving them the freedom to grow and innovate within the company for the company’s gain. It fosters an environment of autonomy and independence within a company while looking for the best solutions to a problem.