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Five Challenges to Consider when Fostering Intrapreneurship

Joe Richardson

Joe Richardson

Searching Whilst Executing

Searching for sustainable and profitable new business models in an organisations innovation process whilst executing on a known business model that addresses the known needs of known market segments can be a challenge.

Bridge To The Core

Connecting the new business to the core and working out how resources are allocated away to the new business needs significant thought and management. The most successful intrapreneurs are the ones who embrace the challenge of corporate politics and build relationships with people in core functions such as legal, HR, marketing, finance, etc.

Strategic Alignment

Aligning a brand new business strategically to the organisation can prove difficult. There has to be some connection between innovation strategy and an organisation’s overall business strategy. Otherwise, the new idea will find it incredibly difficult to find support from stakeholders along with the investment it needs to be successful.

Decentralised Decision Making

The ability for organisations to decentralise their decision making process can be a challenge to fully embrace but is essential for a successful intrapreneurship programme. For new innovations, expectations need to be managed and the employees trying to build this new business should have the authority needed to make independent decisions away from the often bureaucratic processes currently in place.

Attitude to Failure

As Elon Musk famously said, “if things are not failing then you’re not innovating enough”. But this is easier said than done and it’s incredibly difficult for many organisations to fully understand that failures are so important for a successful innovation strategy. Often, risk aversion and negative connotations toward failure are embedded into the culture of the organisation. To fully reap the benefits of intrapreneurship and encourage innovation then failure simply must be embraced.

If organisations are able to recognise and effectively manage these challenges to foster intrapreneurship then coming out of this period, these companies will just get harder and harder to beat or disrupt.