This has been a strong trend over the past year: more and more companies, convinced that their employees can be a source of innovation, are relying on intrapreneurship, sometimes even turning it into a business project. With more than 72% of employees who say they are attracted to intrapreneurship according to Deloitte (a survey conducted in partnership with Viadéo and Cadremploi, among 4,000 people), it is seen as both a lever for innovation and a factor in attracting talent.
Some large groups have even named their intrapreneurship programs “start-up studios” and many have hired dedicated employees as managers / innovation director or Chief Innovation Officer.
Intrapreneurship, essential for large groups to attract millennials
This approach has become essential for companies that want to innovate. Nothing could be more effective than to take on new customer uses and imagine tomorrow’s offers than to integrate millennials into the teams: they carry this innovation that allows them to remain in the global economic race.
However, 2/3 of “digital natives” are attracted by companies offering an intrapreneurship program. Indeed, to capture them, it is necessary to offer them managerial positions and models in line with their aspirations. Researcher Elodie Gentina, Professor at the IESEG School of Management and author of Generation Z. Des Z consommateurs aux Z collaborateurs (DUNOD, 2018), explains that the creative approach of intrapreneurship is closer to the expectations of this generation: it avoids them sacrificing their personal lives to their professional lives; and it involves them in innovative projects with high growth potential, thus avoiding the fear of having to do the same thing for too long.
Reconciling points of view
However, for it to work, it must first of all be understood by both parties. However, millennials think like a start-up, go as fast as a start-up, when managers and other innovation directors spend time convincing internally and holding meetings. Consequence: ideas pass and talents disappear…
To remedy this, it is important to say at the outset what the respective objectives of each party are, to share a clear, precise and structured plan for implementing the strategy, and to keep in mind the point of view of the other party, that is, the human part of the relationship.
Intrapreneurship / entrepreneurship: the same objective, to make turnover
Second condition for success: the intrapreneur must be seen as an entrepreneur, not as a collaborator. An intrapreneurship project is no more or less than a business project within the company. The first objective remains to do business, and the rules are the same as for the entrepreneur: develop a business plan, define a strategy, a positioning and a value proposition, build the right business model to generate the targeted turnover, work on its financing, etc. However, 70% of companies acknowledge that they do not have the time, skills or culture necessary to supervise intrapreneurship projects.
To overcome this second pitfall, more and more “start-up studios” rely on an entrepreneur, either to support the growth of start-ups, or as a co-founder such as Adventure, eFounders, Btwinz or more recently OPEO Studio. The entrepreneurs involved bring their know-how, their network, sometimes funding and a shared team. They bring a business leader’s perspective and not a director or manager’s perspective and they can share feedback from the field to avoid unfortunate decisions or bad gears…
So what are the big groups waiting for to get started and have successful intrapreneurship programs – that is, programs that not only allow innovation but also and above all generate revenue?