Wikipedia will tell you intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. It’s the “practice of a corporate management style that integrates risk-taking and innovation approaches, as well as the reward and motivational techniques, that are more traditionally thought of as being the province of entrepreneurship.”
Intrapreneurship takes the sexiness and the appeal of entrepreneurship and incorporates it within an existing company. It’s also the possibility to generate and develop ideas within your company. You could even say it’s pure talent management. The right talent at the right place in an organization could possibly come up with outstanding ideas for business development. But in order to accomplish that, you need management and a corporate culture that allows these ideas and talents and to have a intrapreneurship-playground.
In an interesting Forbes read, Clinton Senkow, COO of Influencive and former intrapreneur at Influencive, talks about a few strategies for excelling at intrapreneurship – empowering your team is one of them.
One company called Intuit even built an entire support system for their “intrapreneurs”. In this Harvard Business Review article, Intuit interestingly states it’s important to ‘support, don’t control‘ and to ‘make it easy to conduct the first experiment‘.
This isn’t exactly a new idea. But it could help you to keep your employees in your company. If they can take on new or different roles, they could be able to keep themselves challenged. And the right amount of challenge in your job is often a strong motivator. And a way of not getting bored. Plus, the employees that like to co-work and don’t come up with grand ideas, are often happy to take part and execute bottom-up projects.
I’m even convinced some entrepreneurs would be better off as intrapreneurs, and vice versa. It’s a matter of understanding what drives you and probably how much you can cope with (financial) risks as well.