Do you have a culture of innovation? Let’s talk about it and find out. In the book Intrapreneuring in Action, the authors developed 19 traits of companies that have a culture of innovation. This is part three of a five-part series.
I’ve begun this entire intrapreneur series because some companies have to pivot because of COVID19, and I want to add value to their journey. Some companies are more prepared to pivot to new products and services than others.
These are four more items to test and see if you have a culture of innovation.
The best intrapreneurial teams are made of volunteers. Innovative organizations look for employees that are already engaged in entrepreneurial activities. Ask leaders for employees on their teams that offer solutions to problems. Understand the employees who make suggestions for new products or line extensions.
Reach out to these people and let them know that an intrapreneurial opportunity exists, but don’t force them onto the team. Like anything, when you are forced to do something you aren’t committed. Make sure the teams comprise volunteers. Not employees who are voluntold to be on the project.
2. No hand-offs
One element of developing a new venture together is the learning that the team gains as a group. Smart innovation companies allow the team to stay together until the idea is brought to fruition. Interjecting outsiders slows down the process of innovation. They have to be brought up to speed, etc.
Resist the urge to bring in the “professionals” once the idea is past the incubation stage. Realize what kind of message that sends to the employees who stepped up and volunteered for the intrapreneurial assignment?
3. Boundary crossing
Any new product or service developed will need to cross boundaries in the organization to make it to the market. The tendency of many managers might be to protect their “turf” and not allow the intrapreneurial team to use additional resources.
Ensure that the leaders of the departments understand they have to support the effort or it won’t work. Chose intrapreneurs who can manage up in their departments and gain necessary resources. Select sponsors who have the organizational juice to remove barriers as they occur.
4. Strong organizational community
It’s important to choose a vision that employees at all levels can rally around. Imagine pivoting to making masks for frontline medical workers. That is an easy vision to rally around. It’s important work for our heroes.
When you cast a powerful vision, the elements of resistance within the company disappear. Establish values that govern behavior within the intrapreneurial team. If you follow these steps, you will have a better culture innovation!
As always, it is an honor to serve you, and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!
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