An entrepreneur is someone who tries to solve a genuine problem by offering a feasible solution in an affordable way. An intrapreneur is doing the same, but within an existing organization. Nonetheless, there are different challenges faced by intrapreneurs when building corporate entrepreneurship culture. – Jan Kennedy

Before we look at ways for structuring corporate entrepreneurship culture, let’s see if you can resonate with these challenges.


Challenges for implementing corporate entrepreneurship

It might sound straight forward, despite having your organization being your backbone and fund your projects, according to Harvard Business Review, the biggest challenge facing many corporates is often the corporate culture itself. This stresses how important it is to structure corporate entrepreneurship culture to effectively support the business growth and an intrapreneurs development.

Since new corporate ventures are often unclear in their initial stages and consequently present a degree of uncertainty, they require collaborative and adaptive organizational context to thrive. But these corporate ventures seldom blend smoothly with existing corporate cultures. For instance, when a new business is launched, there’s often a lack of hard data to justify its existence, primarily because the new proposed market barely exists. With this, comes a lot of uncertainty, risk taking and taking wild-guesses on financial numbers.



Love-hate relationship between corporate and intrapreneurship: Corporate entrepreneurship examples

Having spoken to many CEOs, COOs, and top decision makers in many large corporations about their experience in applying entrepreneurship, I often find a love-hate relationship between their roles and their goals. It is undeniable that every forward-thinking leader is trying to be more innovative to create new growth and to be bolder to reinforce entrepreneurship.


Decision making process is too long and complicated

Many large corporates still operate with a steep hierarchy. Communication across different departments tends to be less effective. Increased bureaucracy often hinders an organization’s speed to change. They are less integrated and often make decisions based on personal interests rather than the organization as a whole.


Too much red tape

Companies are being overly protective because they need to protect their reputation, at the end of the day, the stakes are high for these large corporations.


No budget, no time, no capacity, no talent

The most valuable capital you have is talent and leadership capital, which you might already have. Many are worried that if they involve their employees in any entrepreneurial initiative, it means sacrificing time and wasting resources. Try to flip the coin and understand that you can only benefit and develop your employees by involving them. It means reinforcing internal growth, increasing talent retention, and best of all, building corporate entrepreneurship into the corporate culture.


It’s too risky

I hear you, it’s natural to be doubtful and sceptical, you are trying to do something new after all. But that doesn’t mean you should give up! Does it resonate with what you might be experiencing? These are just some examples of the common concerns many corporates have, of course there are many more challenges faced at different level and extend. We strongly believe that these challenges can be tackled with strategic planning and execution.


How to turn Hurdles into stepping stones

Turning Hurdles into stepping stones while implementing Corporate Entrepreneurship.

The notion of innovation is at the very core of corporate entrepreneurship. It can also mean redefining business concepts, organization renewal, new business ventures, introducing innovation across the entire organization spectrum… Remember, IT’S A PROCESS. Let us share with you five tactics for structuring corporate entrepreneurship culture.


01. Developing the vision

Have a clear vision and objective of what you want to achieve, you can first identify those who share the same vision as you do about corporate entrepreneurship, we do encourage you to start within one business unit.


02. Encouraging innovation

Trust your team and believe in their entrepreneurial quality. Your employees have already gone through a parameter during the hiring process, from which you can justify their qualification. They are the ones who invest their time. HR also plays an active role in seeking new and innovative approaches to develop and grow your leadership capital. We encourage you to work hand-in-hand with HR as it is in their interest to improve on talent management and development.

Related: The Role of HR in Identifying High-Potentials for Corporate Entrepreneurship


03. Creating a corporate entrepreneurship culture

One of your primary tasks as a business leader is to foster an environment in which entrepreneurial thinking is encouraged. Promoting an intrapreneurial climate by encouraging creativity and innovation can help business leaders to continuously strive to exude and build trust, embracing the risk of failure and inspiring those around them to take similar calculated risks.

Related: Building a Culture of Innovation


04. Scale your business venture and your team

Gain traction and feedback during the process of implementing corporate entrepreneurship, evaluate and re-evaluate during the process to fine tune your objectives based on the changes in the business environment. Provide hands-on opportunities for your team. Develop individual managers into corporate intrapreneurial catalyst.


05. Magnify success and scaling

Promote your effort by magnifying the traction and success. This will help reinforce the business unit’s initiative. It will help you gain the highest level of success from setting a stage for leadership continuity, you can then roll out the same process for other business units, eventually across the whole organization spectrum, through which you will be able to scale the business.

We hope our blog posts give you insights on developing your own corporate entrepreneur program. Please feel free to spend the next 5-10 minutes on finding the building blocks of a successful intrapreneurship Program using our Design Tool, where we help organize your own thoughts to intrapreneurship in a structured way. It is completely FREE and you will receive a Summary Report and our detailed White Paper at the end.