Work systems based on employee innovation: Intrapreneurship

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Today’s employment market demands versatility and creativity. Professional career paths are less uniform and being flexible is essential for finding success in the job market.

Intrapreneurs or enterprising employees share their attitude towards collaboration with the knowmads. They are so independent when carrying out their ideas that they are capable of causing an far-reaching change in the organization, involving others and captivating with their innovative business vision.

Intrapreneurs:

  • Are employees, but they think and act like entrepreneurs
  • Decide in which projects they will work and how
  • Achieve tangible results
  • Form part of communities on and off the Internet, creating their own collaborative networks
  • Connect ideas and turn reality on its head, developing innovative products and projects

Companies that encourage an intrapreneurship culture among its employees seek continuous improvement kaizen-style, as implementing systems that capitalize on employees’ ideas is an easy way to improve business processes and models.

They get the most out of talent: the company wins with the extra contribution from its workforce and these employees develop professionally, giving the best of themselves.

Joan Torrent, Director of the UOC Business School, says that “the intrapreneur is a person who aligns themselves with the organization’s objectives and culture. It is only a question of finding them, encouraging them and giving them the structure to innovate.” The model for publically recognizing this capacity for innovation using awards is widespread in US companies, and major Spanish companies such as Gas Natural Fenosa or Telefónica Spain are starting to use this system as a way to motivate them. For example, IdClic, the intranet of the operator Orange through which employees can put forward their proposals, has implemented more than 4% of the ideas provided by its employees since its rollout

Do you have any experience or know people who encourage internal entrepreneurship? In your company do you have spaces and structures that facilitate flexible work processes? Tell us about it in the comments!

Sara Jurado (@sarajuradoBCN) is psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development, and currently works as counselor in the professional development team at Barcelona Activa.