Once you’ve identified intrapreneurs within your organization, it’s time to leverage them to bring growth to your company. The common misconception is that implementing new innovative concepts in corporations takes a long time. There is some truth to this considering the rigid internal processes, but it doesn’t have to be the case. To implement intrapreneurship, it is important to first recognize that there is a specific process for successful implementation of the innovation process. Here are three steps to guide intrapreneurs for disruptive innovation.
01. Prepare a Brainstorming Meeting
Once you know how to identify intrapreneurs, bring them together and expose them to the ideation process. Start by pinpointing gaps in your organization, then encourage intrapreneurs to submit their own innovative ideas around specific company challenges. One question you can pose is, “how can we put our business out of business?” If the ideas are mere improvements to something that’s already been done for the last 10 years, then that would be a form of “incremental innovation.” This is not the type of innovation that will generate new growth opportunities. Instead, the list of business ideas should be more disruptive in nature and considered “differentiated innovation” or “radical innovation.”
02. Recognize the need of a “Discovery” Stage
Many corporates make the mistake of jumping ahead and not allowing for a reasonable “discovery” stage. Excited by the generation of new ideas, executives push selected ideas into full time incubation, or build stage, without using customer or market evidence. Simply put, the idea is never explored in the real world, but only subjected to management’s opinions about what might happen in the future. This discovery stage is necessary for the idea to mature and find the right problem for the right customer. It is impossible to predict the future, but it is possible to make accurate predictions with lots of historical data. As company’s implement intrapreneurship, it’s important to keep in mind, without this discovery stage, the ideas will not be the type of innovation that will generate new growth opportunities and will likely experience a high failure rate.
03. Test Critical Assumptions
To implement intrapreneurship, the feasibility of an idea should be tested. This requires running a series of experiments that test all the critical assumptions. Identify what problem you are solving, who your customer is, and what the solution should look like. Knowing the answers to these simple questions will allow you to focus on what value you will bring with your product or service. It’s necessary to understand what features your idea requires for your customer to consider your solution. Guide intrapreneurs and provide innovation training through this process to teach the skills and give feedback along the way. With this, the next step is to recognize how to bring it to market with a proper revenue and pricing model.
The Academy for Corporate Entrepreneurship structures programs to assist your Corporate Entrepreneurs through these steps. Use this free Intrapreneurship Program Design Tool to help you get started with designing your own Intrapreneurship Program.