When Should Your Employees Be Innovators and Intrapreneurs?

When should you let your employees embrace entrepreneurial behaviors and initiative? You shouldn’t, counsels Stefan Lindegaard. A large majority needs to just focus on their job and keep the corporate engine running. However, every employee should be given the opportunity to work with innovation via idea generating campaigns and other initiatives.

Such initiatives not only identify great ideas within – or outside – your organization. They can also help you identify people who have natural capabilities for making innovation happen. Some are just better than others and you need to identify and develop these people even further. Doing all of this will help you build a strong innovation culture, Lindegaard explains.

He cautions innovation leaders against getting inspired by programs like Google’s 20% project, in which employees can work on their own projects for 20% of the time. The mindset and processes to support such an initiative must be developed in the early years of a company’s formation. Trying to adopt it in an existing company will undoubtedly fail, because the mindset and processes are not in place to support it.

Instead, Lindegaard suggests that fostering intrapreneurship will be a more successful strategy for most organizations.

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