How often have you seen a group of employees just up and quit their corporate job to form a startup? Too many darn times! Many corporations have taken note of that, and in order to keep the innovation within the organization and help liberate the thought process of the employees, while keeping them in the organization, they have started intrapreneurship cells.
These intrapreneurship cells, even though prevalent in other countries across organizations, have only recently found their way into corporations in the country. One such example comes from SAP labs called InnVent, which provide no financial support, but help employees stretch their wings and think towards continued innovation. This, they hope, will ultimately relay their innovation and free-flowing thoughts into the work.
How Intrapreneurship Helps
“A startup requires a lot of interaction with potential customers to reach and validate the early stages of the product or market fit,” says Hemant Rachh, an employee of SAP who developed a software powered by AI to convert leads into sales. He became a winner of the internal program, InnVent, and got a lot of motivation and external support to carry the idea forward.
In addition to this, the encouragement for his venture was of such magnitude, that at one point, he considered leaving SAP to pursue this venture with a few of his team members. However, they decided against leaving the organization, owing to the startup-like and idea-encouraging environment of their workplace, allowing a free flight for their ideas.
Continuing their pursuits to help actualize their idea , Hemant and his team ultimately applied to SAP.io, a globally run intrapreneurship accelerator program, run by SAP themselves. They also acquired funding from the startup accelerator program, becoming 2nd out of 500 teams from SAP all over the world.
A Win-Win Situation
Corporations now are seeing this intrapreneurial venture in a different light, rather than losing a few good employees, these ventures are now considered as ‘entrepreneurial sabbaticals’ while getting paid a salary. It thus becomes a beneficial venture for all parties, says Dilipkumar Khandelwal, Director of SAP Labs.
Intrapreneurial stints are helping organizations with employees who are more adventurous and productive with their work. These innovations also help big corporations make big shifts and adjust to innovation and creativity in the marketplace, encouraging new ideas to seep into the organization and bring about much-needed changes.
As a leader, believes Khandelwal, it’s his responsibility to ensure that he allows a culture of innovative thinking in the workplace, encourage new ideas, and help with technology infrastructure and funding to build new profitable products for the company. “In today’s rapid pace of digital transformation, it is vital to stay relevant and competitive. Enabling employees to expand their horizons and be at the cusp of innovative thinking helps corporations have better motivated employees who will bring in more revenue, and ultimately more success to the corporation.
Intrapreneurship-related ventures initiated by big-name firms are the way forward to bring out the initiative from employees. It is, therefore, imperative to say that there are startups budding everywhere, even in large corporations, and enabling them to succeed will help corporations go hand-in-hand with modern day innovation!