Over two decades of consulting to medium and large organizations, David Frood discovered that the majority of the answers to even the biggest issues were known to employees. He later wrote “The Thinking Corporation” and “Steps to Becoming A Thinking Corporation” as a way of consolidating the research. These books have now been converted into a training program and associated software tools to help organizations promote employee participation.
Intrapreneurship is defined as acting like an entrepreneur, while working in a larger organization. An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so (Oxford). So we see that an intrapreneur can organize something new while working for an employer and help operate the business through taking steps to improve the organization’s circumstances by observing it as an entrepreneur would when operating the business. Both of these actions mean that employees participate in the business in a different way than just carrying out the requirements of their position descriptions. This poses two questions:
- Under what circumstances are employees willing to contribute towards making improvements that are outside their position description?, and
- How do we make it easy for them to voice their opinions and follow-through on thoughts?
Over two decades of consulting to medium and large organizations, David Frood discovered that the majority of the answers to even the biggest issues were known to employees. This started a long and detailed study of the reasons why people chose to remain silent, rather than tell their employer about ways to solve business issues, or simply make more money. The study led to the generation of two books, “The Thinking Corporation” and “Steps to Becoming A Thinking Corporation” as a way of consolidating the research and solutions, to produce high-growth, innovative organizations.
Promoting intrapreneurship through providing the right environment for creativity and participation, as well as giving employees a software platform to capture and work on their ideas can help to address some of the big HR issues that confront both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Promoting intrapreneurship leads to:
- Increasing engagement – surveys report that on average 30% of employees are engaged in the business, 50% disengaged and 20% actively disengaged. This means that 70% the total cost of employment is unproductive.
- Reduce employee turnover – 40% of new hires leave within the first 18 months. The cost to the business varies from 50% of salary to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the role.
- Sustainable innovation – Governments and businesses are crying out for more innovation to drive their economies. Converting some of the disengaged 70% can help achieve this goal.
Intrapreneurship can be as simple as an employee identifying savings or better process, to big ideas for new products, services, markets or even businesses. Being pro-active in all three of the following initiatives will guarantee improved employee engagement and help promote intrapreneurship.
- Develop a working environment where people want to help
- Institutionalize the participation process
- Make the experience a win for the business and a win for employees
If you have a minimum of 150 employees and interested in taking positive action to drive growth, efficiencies and profitability through increased engagement levels please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480.452.7577.