In my latest articles I have focused on the changing perceptions of Intrapreneurs within corporate organizations. My first article focused on the frameworks used to define intrapreneurial activities and the second article reviewed the specific actions that can be used to engage and drive results from Intrapreneurs within a corporate context.
But a question is, why is this kind of activity suddenly such an area of focus?
I have been attending innovation-focused conferences for some time now. However, within the last 12 months or so I have seen an increased level of frustration around the direction and results that corporate innovation development programs are achieving. Now keep in mind, I am seeing that from the perspective of the innovation program leadership, which I know is being amplified at the Corporate and Business Unit leadership levels. Essentially this frustration is a result of a few things:
Anecdotally, this frustration has lead to an increase in turn-over of corporate innovation leadership. In addition, there appears to be an increasing rate of restructuring and strategic reassessment at some of the highest profile corporate innovation programs. I think that this is leading to a change in the way that innovation management professionals are viewing their programs. They are starting to focus on how they can achieve scale, driving business value in a way that is consistently applied over time, process oriented and impactful.
Innovation leaders are focused on achieving scale and driving business value in a way that is consistently applied over time, process oriented and impactful.
In response, these organizations are seeking to identify, engage and connect employees who are interested in innovation activities. These individuals are provided with experiences or training, and directed towards opportunities and resources to drive business results. It is important to note that this is generally a part-time designation to their normal day-to-day roles. The focus of these employees can be the development of ideas around new revenue streams, cost reductions, marketplace differentiation, enhanced customer service or process improvements.
These efforts, and the employee that they engage, are being branded as Intrapreneurs, Innovation Catalysts, Change Champions, etc. The names and the title designations are different, but the underlying goals and approaches are pretty similar. Ultimately, these efforts look to connect key individuals, who can be given the skills to drive exceptional business results.
So why is this becoming a more actively pursued approach to innovation development?
What is consistent is that this trend of supporting a range of employees as innovation Catalysts, Intrapreneurs or Champions is not going away.
What is consistent is that this trend of supporting a range of employees as innovation Catalysts, Intrapreneurs or Champions is not going away. Corporate organizations are seeing the value that is being generated with this approach and are looking for models and approaches that they can use within their own context. This is a long overdue development for the innovation development competency and I look forward to seeing where we can all go from here.
Anthony is the CEO of Culturevate, an organization that empowers a company’s employees to execute ideas and inspire a culture of innovation, through employee networks, a resource portal and training programs (developed in association with Professor Chris Labash from Carnegie Mellon University). Anthony is a widely read author, speaker and advisor to industry leaders at organizations such as Pfizer, U.S. Postal Service, Johnson & Johnson, ADP and Fidelity. He previously led the BNY Mellon innovation program and has a Masters of Commerce (University of Sydney) and Bachelor of Economics (University of Newcastle).
Fueling Your Employees’ Entrepreneurial Spirit
Part III: The Changing Perception of Intrapreneurs (Current)
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