Are intrapreneurs having an impact on organizations? That is a question that is being raised at the highest levels of organizations. Although many organizations are embracing intrapreneurship there is an underlying skepticism about exactly what is the contribution of intrapreneurs to the organization or what are they doing to move the organization forward.
Traditional metrics are not enough to measure success. Organizations need to look at the impact that intrapreneurs are having on the organization itself. Not just in the numbers but in the way they are changing the business model.
- They are bringing new thinking to the organization.
- They are dealing effectively with ambiguity and uncertainty.
- They are energizing and engaging co-workers.
- They are helping shape and change the culture.
- They are modeling a new type of leadership.
- They are finding new ways to execute with precision.
- They are building strong relationships with customers.
- They are redefining how work gets done.
- They are creating new systems and processes.
- They are helping attract and retain employees.
- They are re-branding the organization to be more entrepreneurial.
- They are making the organization more responsive to market changes.
- They are leveraging new technology in new and creative ways.
- They are creating value that has a social and environmental impact.
- They are leading their companies into the future.
- And yes, they are having an impact on the bottom line.
These are some of the impacts that intrapreneurs are having on organizations.
These impacts are not always bold and forceful, they are often subtle and hidden. The impact itself may not be felt right away but can be far reaching. It may not be obvious to the leadership team until it has been integrated into the fabric of the organization. It may not be acknowledged until something goes right or wrong with an intrapreneurial initiative. It may not take on meaning until it can be measured and quantified. But keep in mind that these things are having an impact none the less.
Never before have we seen a shift in power from the organization to the individual. As Intrapreneurship takes hold in organizations it is not only transforming organizations it is disrupting them. But this disruption is not destructive it is actually constructive. It is transformative.
It is not only an operational shift, it is a behavioral shift that is taking place. A shift that by its very nature is changing the culture of the organization, the way work gets done and the way the organization operates.
Thanks to the efforts of intrapreneurs that are driving change not because they feel they want to but because they know they need to. They see a very different way of operating then past generations of workers. That’s why these subtle shifts aren’t always as obvious to the rest of the organization.
It is not something that can easily be measured at a point in time but over time. It is not something that you can assign a high or low value until you see the full impact of it on the organization. It is not something you can label disruptive if it moves your company forward.
Perhaps if we started measuring some of these impacts we would start to see the positive benefits that intrapreneurs and intrapreneurship bring to organizations more clearly. That aggressively embracing intrapreneurship and encouraging intrapreneurs would accelerate this transformation and minimize the disruption so that organizations can more quickly adapt and respond to market changes.
There are a number of organizations that are already doing this and in doing this they are reaping the benefits listed above and achieving the financial goals that have always been the measure of success.
What about your organization? What is the impact that intrapreneurs and intrapreneurship are having on your organization?