Saturday, December 4, 2010

The new rules of intrapraneurship

How can your company grow more quickly and profitably? According to a new survey from Ernst & Young, 82% of global business leaders “strongly agree” that the ability to innovate is critical to the growth of their organizations.
But innovation isn't easy. Almost half of respondents say that generating innovative ideas becomes more difficult as their organizations grow in size and complexity.

According to Colleen McMorrow, leader of Ernst & Young Canada’s Strategic Growth Markets, the solution is to foster intrapreneurship—innovation and entrepreneurial thinking throughout the organization. Ernst & Young’s new report, Igniting Innovation: How Hot Companies Fuel Growth From Within, identifies six strategies for fostering intrapreneurship:

1) Set up a formal structure for intrapreneurship. Give people time away from their day jobs to work on creative ideas. And set up formal processes to make sure those ideas go somewhere.  

2) Solicit ideas from your employees. Encourage everyone from all ranks and functions to contribute to innovative thinking.

3) Assemble and unleash a diverse workforce. Statistical research indicates that drawing on people from different backgrounds with diverse viewpoints results in better ideas and better products.

4) Design a career path for “intrapreneurs.” Since these innovators and risk-takers tend to dislike conventional administrative jobs, look for non-traditional ways to advance their careers.

5) Explore government programs and incentives. Don’t ignore the growing number of government-sponsored programs that support innovation. Step up efforts to obtain government funds for research and development, digital creative work and new technology innovation.

6) Prepare your organization for the pitfalls of intrapreneurship. Backing bold ideas is risky by definition. Be prepared to deal with failed ventures, internal conflicts, financial risks and battles over intellectual property. Set risk limits up-front to minimize losses.

Although the E&Y report doesn't highlight it, you should also ensure your organization knows how to win. Make heroes of the risk-takers who dare and succeed. Share the lessons that your organization learns as it transforms raw ideas into profitable new processes, services and products.
“Intrapreneurs in Canada need encouragement, support and resources, as well as the freedom to fail without repercussions,” says McMorrow. “Encouraging the development of high-risk, high-reward ideas within the safety and support of an established organization is what lies at the heart of intrapreneurship.”

by Rick Spence, Profit Guide
Saverio Manzo

About me: I give Economic, Social and Global trend briefings from some of the world's brightest minds at my blog and I also provide true and tested financial planning and wealth advice. Most recently, over the past few years, I have become socially conscious and have been attempting to practise ways in which I can live my life more environmentally friendly.   Along with some truly exceptional friends, we provide consulting and business development for small-medium sized businesses.  In addition, I truly believe in being philanthropic, giving and doing unto other as we would have them do unto us. Some of my fondest resources are from Barry Ritholtz of The Big Picture, David Rosenberg and what Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway is up to behind the scenes, as an example.