An Intrapreneurship World: Tips to Empower Your Employees to Innovate

Jan 26
You can be a great innovator without having a big piece of the company pie.

This is what intrapreneurs do.

They innovate, lead, assess, analyse and strategise without investing their money and starting their business. They do it within an organisation. They bridge the gap between being an employee and being an entrepreneur.

It is a bit of an intrapreneurs world out there. How?

- Happy Meal was created by a McDonald's intrapreneur
- Prime was created by an Amazon intrapreneur
- A tall order was created by a Starbucks intrapreneur

Is your company enabling employees to be intrapreneurial and innovative? 

Here are six tips on how to empower your employees to innovate:

1. Start from an innovative culture, not a mechanism.

2. Create helpful feedback loops.

You need a method for employees to receive helpful customer feedback helping them to identify problems and innovate. Slack, Yammer and GitHub are good examples.

3. Provide unique places and platforms for innovation.

You can train employees to develop, share their ideas and provide a prototype.

4. Challenge employees to think bigger, faster or differently.

You can use competitions, hackathons, and design contests as examples.

5. Encourage employees to fail often, creatively and openly.

6. If the company is big enough, you can create an independent department for research and development.

This department should:

- be independent of the rest of the company (not doing daily tasks)
- have a separate budget enabling testing and trialling
- not be influenced by the company's strategic direction, so innovation is not inhibited. 

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