There are many stories about lone-genius entrepreneurs. But what about the intrapreneurs who generate innovative ideas and embody the entrepreneurial spirit within, and for, a company?
As part of Blogging Innovation’s “Innovation Perspectives” series, Steve Todd shares his perspectives on leveraging these intrapreneurs – whom he defines as innovators that conceive and deliver an idea at a large corporation.
While Todd notes that “individual pockets of innovation” can result in new products and services that add to the bottom line, he also argues:
The downside of this approach is the amount of potential corporate energy that gets left on the table. Corporate intrapreneurs should be aware of and rallying around a well-defined innovation strategy. If they are not, then the company is missing out on a great opportunity to generate (and deliver!) breakthrough innovation.
I agree with Todd. But why not go beyond exposing these intrapreneurs to corporate direction, as he suggests, and harness that intrapreneurial horsepower to drive corporate strategy?
Instead of generating undirected, academic solutions that can dilute the focus of the research organization, intrapreneurs can address target market needs. Their creative juices can be aligned with a well-articulated (and hopefully well-understood) vision about the future of the organization.
The key is to channel individual efforts so their combined energy is directed to solving problems that the company can take advantage of – especially if the findings are breakthrough and game changing. Wouldn’t it be a shame to solve world peace if you weren’t in the peace industry??
Editor: Sonal Chokshi