Intrapreneur Magazine - Issue One

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Want to unleash a wave of productivity, profitability and purpose within your workplace? Liberate your intrapreneurs!

Intrapreneurs are the human

face of innovation. These are the employees with an enterprising spirit who work inside a business or organisation to drive change and transformation. They are the dreamers who do, who translate creative ideas into innovative outcomes.

Want to find out how to liberate and harness the power of intrapreneurialism? The inaugural Australian Intrapreneurs Summit being held at the Brisbane Convention Centre on the 14th of March 2019 is driving the movement in Australia. This gathering will celebrate and educate the intrapreneurs who make change happen in many different ways and in many different contexts.

Want to be a part of this exciting event? Visit the website and register here

Any questions just email: Want to win a double pass to this amazing event? Just email us at and tell us in under 25 words why you would like to attend the Australian Intrapreneurs Summit.


























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Intrapreneur MAGAZINE


We’re excited to share this inaugural issue of INTRAPRENEUR MAGAZINE with you. We created this magazine for three reasons. Firstly to educate and support you on your journey as an intrapreneur. Challenging the status quo and implementing much need change within an organisation or business can be exhausting. It helps to have an easily accessible resource that can inspire and inform you. Secondly we want to support the global intrapreneurialism movement which is still in its infancy but fast gaining momentum. Much attention is given to entrepreneurs – it is now time for the intrapreneur. Thirdly we want to provide a conduit for stories and contributors from many different sectors. Business, corporate, government, not-for-profit, indigenous, education, community to name a few. Intrapreneurialism is alive and well everywhere - so share your stories with us. In this issue we bring you a wonderful diversity of contributors and a wide spectrum of perspectives about intrapreneurialism. Rainer Petek from Germany explains how he uses his experience as an extreme alpinist to work with leaders to be more intrapreneurial within their organisations.

Also in this issue Dr. Paul Browning, Headmaster of St. Paul’s School in Brisbane shares his important message about how to bring intrapreneurialism to the education sector. Paul Hodgson GM for Innovation and Stakeholder Engagement for NERA brings his wealth of knowledge and experience as a business advisor to the topic of intrapreneurship within the SME and family-run-business sector. And Wendy Agar CEO Of Sunrise way shows us that intrapreneurialism is thriving within the notfor-profit sector. All our contributors in this issue are also speakers at the inaugural Australian Intrapreneurs Summit at the Brisbane Convention Centre on the 14th of March. Other great info included in this issue are articles about: • 7 Steps to an intrapreneurial workplace culture. • What the hell is an intrapreneur? • Your intrapreneurs could unlock the hidden profits of your business. As you can see our magazine is filled with information to open your eyes to the many facets of intrapreneurialism with the hope that it will give you a diversity of perspectives on this important and burgeoning topic. Thanks for taking the time to read it! Let us know what you think.

s r o t u b i r t n o c RAINER PETEK Rainer Petek is a systemic organizational development pro and founding-partner of 3ULeaders, a consultancy for leading companies based in Salzburg/Austria. Since 1998 he has worked with global players in the fields of strategy, change and development of new forms of leadership and collaboration. He is always at the edge of developments by constantly observing and analyzing extraordinary innovative companies and scouting the hot spots of innovation and digitalization like the Silicon Valley. Management-author and lecturer Rainer Petek has also authored and co-authored seven books and is also an extreme climber and professional mountain guide.

PAUL HODGSON Paul Hodgson is General Manager, Innovation and Stakeholder Engagement (East Coast) for the National Energy Resources Australia industry growth centre. He works with stakeholders to increase the productivity, competitiveness and export potential of the energy resources sector. He has a Bachelor of International Business, a Master of Sustainable Development and has recently commenced a part-time PhD in Small to Medium Enterprise Succession. He has spent over 20 years exploring the competitiveness of businesses, industries and regions, and designing and implementing strategies to improve performance through innovation and collaboration.

WENDY AGAR With a personal purpose of ‘creating change for good’ Wendy Agar is an intrapreneur who is passionate about making a difference in our communities. Her strong crosssectorial background includes leadership experience in education, agriculture, banking and regional development. It is this broad skill set, combined with her shared and purposeful leadership and a drive to innovate and collaborate, that has allowed her to transform Toowoomba’s Sunrise Way Rehab. Named the 2018 OPTUS ‘Not For Profit Business of the Year’, Sunrise Way is supporting stronger and healthier communities through helping individuals impacted by addiction to rebuild their lives.

DR PAUL BROWNING Dr Paul Browning (PhD, MEdAdmin (Hons), BEd, DipTeach) has been a Head for 20 years. His passion is leadership and school culture. He believes that trust is the fundamental resource for successful leadership and a healthy school culture. Paul has published articles for various journals and is a peer reviewer for research articles on leadership for the International Journal of Leadership in Education. He has spoken at numerous conferences, both nationally and internationally, and leads workshops on leadership, teacher improvement, school culture and improvement to well in excess of 2000 school leaders and CEOs across several continents. Paul has been listed amongst the top 50 most influential people in education in Australia and awarded Australia’s best non-government school principal.


liberation innovation



Arguably one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs attributes much of his success not purely to luck, good planning or hard work, but to other people – his intrapreneurs. Sir Richard Branson, Chairman and CEO of Virgin Group, is a self-made multi-billionaire and firm believer in the importance of intrapreneurialism for future-focused, successful business. “Virgin could never have grown into the group of more than 200 companies it is now, were it not for a steady stream of intrapreneurs who looked for and developed opportunities, often leading efforts that went against the grain,” he commented in his article Sir Richard Branson on Intrapreneurs: The business icon talks about empowering employees to break the rules which was written for “While it’s true that every company needs an entrepreneur to get it under way, healthy growth requires a smattering of intrapreneurs who drive new projects and explore new and unexpected directions for business development.”

Sir Richard is well-known for innovation and outside-the-box thinking, beginning his entrepreneurial pursuits at just 16 when he founded Student magazine. At age 20 he set up a mail-order record business, then two years later opened the first store for Virgin Records (later known as Virgin Megastores). In the 1980s, he took his love for travel to the next level by expanding Virgin into the airline business, and in 2004 he took the bold step into spaceflight with Virgin Galactic. Virgin Mobile began in 1999 and Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) in 2000. He has since also bought into entertainment, healthcare, hotels, radio stations, Formula One racing and become a patron for a range of charitable organisations. In his autobiography, Sir Richard writes of his decision to start the airline: “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges

and trying to rise above them ... from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it.” This courage, drive and determination forms the cornerstone to Virgin’s intrapreneur programs. Sir Richard sees the incredible power in those wanting more from their careers; those willing to go the extra mile and make a real difference - those also wanting to live life to the full. It takes bravery, perseverance and fortitude to step forward and approach leaders about a new idea, and sadly, these qualities are not always supported within business. Virgin stands apart from other business models by encouraging ‘rule breakers’, rather than punishing those who dare to sidestep organisational bureaucracy. As a corporation, they believe in empowerment, freedom, creativity and openness to innovation.

A beautiful example of intrapreneurialism at work is detailed in Sir Richard’s Entrepreneur. com article, from Virgin Atlantic: “None of the big expensive seat design firms seemed able to solve the design problems posed by our specifications for our Upper Class cabin, but a young designer, Joe Ferry, volunteered (insistently) to give the project a go. “We set him loose, and the herringboneconfigured private sleeper suites that resulted from his “outside the box” creativity put us years ahead of the pack and made for millions of very happy horizontal fliers.” Intrapreneurialism was also paramount to Virgin’s success with the development of their telecommunications arm, Virgin Mobile. The company had no previous experience or onground expertise in the mobile phone industry, so instead set to work finding exactly what they needed through a group of highly skilled

and passionate industry managers. These newfound staff members were charged with the responsibility and freedom to set up their own ventures within the Virgin Group, and ultimately became very successful themselves. “Perhaps the greatest thing about this form of enabled intrapreneurship is that often everyone becomes so immersed in what they’re doing that they feel like they own their companies.” In closing, Sir Richard’s question to leaders is: “What if CEO stood for “chief enabling officer”? What if that CEO’s primary role were to nurture a breed of intrapreneurs who would grow into tomorrow’s entrepreneurs?” If one of the world’s richest and most successful people isn’t afraid to let others take the lead and advocate for a more flexible, liberated business model, perhaps there is change ahead for many more who strive live life to the full.




he analogy of leadership akin to scaling a steep mountain is apt for many a business owner, CEO or principal. There are plenty of challenges and the need for teamwork and trust are beyond question. Both scenarios can throw extreme conditions towards even the most experienced leaders. Rainer Petek has taken this analogy and created a unique platform from which to view leadership, introducing clients worldwide to his ‘mountain guide to North faces in your business’. What started out as a oneoff request for the professional mountain climber to conduct management team exercises soon became his career; it was this moment that sparked his first book, and his subsequent journey into leadership training.

“My biggest inspiration was always to work with people and help (and watch) them grow.”

“In the reflections afterwards, I discovered that this experiential kind of training was very effective for the participants and they also were highly inspired by my personal experiences and stories,” he said. “My biggest inspiration was always to work with people and help (and watch) them grow. It doesn´t matter whether this happened on the mountains in the past or in business nowadays: to help people or teams to reach a new level of performance or development is a highly rewarding job.” Encouraging intrapreneurship plays a big part in Rainer’s work, as he firmly believes it is essential to the success of any organisation. It is these people who find and solve many of an organisation’s problems, and are committed, passionate and loyal members of a team. Without intrapreneurs, innovation and progress may stall. “In order to be able to deal with the highly dynamic environment, organisations need people at all levels who think and act like owners and are able to make fast and smart decisions. It´s not a nice-to-have-thing, organisations really need it.”

“An intrapreneur is someone who sees a problem, an issue or an opportunity and decides to own it and to find a solution for it… Intrapreneurs create new business by thinking constantly about opportunities.”

In order to encourage intrapreneurialism, Rainer urges business owners to redefine their leadership role and break free of the fear and politicisation that often circles around forward-thinking staff. Just like on the mountains, it takes a team to reach the peak, with each member bringing their own strengths and skills to carry the group to ultimate success. Rainer suggests business owners take a critical look at the type of leader they are portraying and ask themselves; “Who am I as leader? The one that feels obliged to have the ideas and that makes all the decisions? Or, am I the one that feels responsible to create a system, where smart ideas, innovations and intelligent decisions emerge naturally? “In reality this can be the crucial transition for leaders.” Once a leader has the strength to carry out this type of self-observation, they are more equipped to welcome intrapreneurs and reap the benefits of a more fluid, dynamic and futurefocused team. There is not an organisation on the planet that could not benefit from more creativity and innovation in its ranks. As for intrapreneurs themselves, Rainer’s advice is to “have the long wind and not give in early”. It takes patience, fortitude and strength of will to break through the barriers and work around those who strive to maintain the status quo. Intrapreneurs need both leaders and colleagues on their side, so must work hard not only

on their ideas, but convincing others of their merit. For leaders and intrapreneurs alike, Rainer’s final advice is “don’t climb solo”. “Although you could have been the source or the original owner of an idea, you should have the ability to let go your baby or at least open up some space for others to become coowners,” he said. Maintaining upward momentum climbing a mountain or in the boardroom requires team work. See Rainer in action at the Australian Intrapreneurs Summit in Brisbane on the 14th of March where he is delivering the closing keynote. He is in Australia for just two days. If you would like to book him to speak for your organisation or event on Friday the 15th of March contact ASAP. To read more on Rainer Petek, visit


Intrapreneur? We all know what an entrepreneur is but there is a new buzz-word in the business world that is causing a few raised eyebrows and a bit of excitement around the boardroom table... and that’s intrapreneur! When we think of the term entrepreneur we conjure up images of start-up companies being planned around the kitchen table and multi-million dollar business ideas being developed between mates over a beer at the pub. We think of Naomi Simson, Janine Allis, Richard Branson and Lord Sugar. We know that entrepreneurs are risk takers who have a business idea and turn that idea into a reality. So we know what an entrepreneur is and how they operate but what the hell is an intrapreneur you ask? Good question with a pretty simple answer. An intrapreneur is a worker with many of the same attributes as an entrepreneur but who works within a corporation or business. The dictionary defines an intrapreneur as “An employee of a company who has many of the attributes of entrepreneurs. An intrapreneur is someone within a company that takes calculated risks in an effort to solve a given problem.� Intrapreneurs are innovative risk takers who are future focused and not afraid to embrace change, who are thirsty to learn new skills and take on leadership

roles. They are career forward thinkers who say, “YES” to new ideas, challenges and projects. They are the workers within a business who recognise that learning new skills is more valuable than the wage they earn at the end of the week. Intrapreneurs are people who work within an organisation but treat their position within the company as if the business is their own. An intrapreneur is that person within a business or organisation that convinces others that a liberal, slightly intimidating, progressive idea with high potential is not only possible but also worthwhile and achievable. They are not afraid to dive into unchartered waters and are always future ready. Intrapreneurs need to be comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity and that is not an easy skill to find and is one of the qualities that make them so unique. An intrapreneur is someone who is not afraid to try something and fail, or someone with the potential and guts and grit to make it past barriers and blockages, whatever they may be. Intrapreneurship is a way to create meaningful change and development within a company or business but without the kinds of risks taken by entrepreneurs. Intrapreneurs come in many different varieties. Some are at the beginning of their career - a work in progress. Others are highly experienced with the confidence and know-how to take on huge challenges and make disruptive changes within their companies. So what are some of the skills that an intrapreneur is likely to posses you ask? Well an intrapreneur will most certainly display if not all but at least the majority of the following attributes:

An open attitude to learning and a creative approach to finding ways to make things happen.

Perseverance even in the face of obstacles.

A sense of inspiration and motivation by the success of others.

An appreciation of feedback and a willing attitude to grow from it and to learn from mistakes.

A cup half full approach to life and work.

A way at looking at failure as an opportunity for future success.

An intrapreneur is the employee whose approach to their job as is as if it was their own business so they will always:

Provide excellent customer service, go the extra mile and follow up by calling the customer back if they say that they are going to.

Look at ways to keep costs down and recycle when possible.

Use their time productively and make the most out of opportunities as they present themselves.

Be professional in their attitude towards work and turn up each morning with a smile on their face an a positive approach to work life

Act like everyday is their fist day on the job and bring their “A game” with them to work.

Approach every opportunity as a potential lead, sale or future contact.

An intrapreneur is basically an entrepreneur - except that they work inside an organisation or business.

Unleash your



Do you want to: 1. Become the most valuable employee in your organisation 2. Harness your smarts and savvy to solve worthy problems 3. Help transform your business or organisation to be resilient and future ready Join us on the 28th of February 2019 in Brisbane for this one day workshop CREATING INTRAPRENEURS package. Today, more than ever, workplaces need opportunity finders. These are the people who have great ideas and are prepared to invest the energy to bring them to fruition. They are the dreamers who do. Come and learn how to be an INTRAPRENEUR and help shape the future of your organisation or business. I’m Dr. Irena Yashin-Shaw and I’ll be your workshop leader. My mission is to liberate the untapped talent, creativity and leadership capabilities that languish within our workplaces. I believe people can do remarkable things if given the opportunity. That is why I have dedicated my entire working life to this quest - as an educator, researcher and mentor.

This workshop is for you if: • You are a leader, emerging leader, aspiring leader or influencer at ANY LEVEL who wants to create positive and meaningful change while developing your intrapreneurial skills. • You are tasked with driving, catalysing and championing innovation in your workplace. • You are an influencer within a workplace that is undergoing change. • You have great ideas but don’t know how to transform them into reality to benefit your team, business or career. • You feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done in order to re-energise or future-proof your business or organisation. • You are just starting out and you want to accelerate your career trajectory. • You need to solve complex problems in your workplace and need an effective process. • You are an early adopter who is interested in the future of work and like to be on the leading edge of new trends and developments • You like to meet and network with other savvy, switched on change-makers and leaders. • You are excited about the prospect of creating an even more positive future for yourself and your business.

Click Here For More Information And To Register Your registration package also includes my latest book Intrapreneur: How leaders ignite innovation, break bureaucracy and catalyse change, a ticket to the Australian Intrapreneurs Summit on the 14th of March at the Brisbane Convention Centre and lots more.

(To run this workshop in-house call Dr. Irena on 0411330301) 0411330301



r Paul Browning is passionate about leadership. It is his belief that a primary role of any leader is to create a culture of trust to enable innovation to occur. Paul trained as a primary teacher in the late 1980s. He brought to his teaching career a passion for creativity, and a sense of wonder about the world in which we live. For the past 20 years he has brought those same traits to his leadership of two schools, challenging traditional ways of teaching to ensure that creativity is nurtured and expressed by every student under his care. Paul’s take on improving the education sector through intrapreneurship is to depoliticise and de-standardise the agenda to a degree where each student can be wholly nurtured as individuals and become truly future-ready.

“An education worth having is one the develops the whole person, nurturing and growing their intrinsic sense of wonder and creativity along with their character. I believe that schools need to change so there is a stronger focus on developing every child’s capacity to be resilient global citizens, who are innovative thinkers with a heart for servant leadership,” he said. This is where strong, trustworthy leadership is so important. In order to enact real change within the tightly-bound confines of the current education system, an intrapreneur must step forward as leader, passionate leader, who operates with a strong sense of integrity that encourages others to follow. As Paul explains: “We must be true to what we believe education should be about rather than willingly conform to the mandates handed

down to us. We need to be passionate enough about our beliefs so as to cast a compelling vision that others will buy into. And finally, we need to have the courage to stay the course, remain true to our beliefs and withstand the inevitable resistance to what we need to do.” In an ideal world, Paul advocates for greater principal and teacher involvement when it comes to the development of educational policy and future direction of Australian schools. However, his focus at present is in implementing innovative changes with the scope of his current role – as headmaster at St Paul’s school in Queensland – to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs and future-focused students. St Paul’s school has developed a unique teaching approach called Realms of Thinking: “A core element of our school’s purpose is to help students become innovative thinkers – and our Realms of Thinking are approaches to teaching and learning that help students

master the basics while also growing their capacity to ask better questions, develop empathy, navigate failure and spark their imagination. “What the Realms look like is a collection of 16 dispositions that nurture every student’s ability to think creatively. When clustered together, the dispositions form ways of working. For example, the ability to think like an innovator and utilise design thinking is a way of working. Entrepreneurialism is another way of working. “Perhaps what separates our approach from the standard education model, however, is the development of a third pathway of learning in addition to the traditional academic and vocational pathways: an entrepreneurial pathway. Students who are interested in scaling their innovations can join our Centre for Innovators and Entrepreneurs to support them in taking their products to market.” This inspiring approach has the education sector taking note, with St Paul’s school

picking up some impressive and meaningful awards for its previously unchartered methods in guiding the next generation towards a successful and fulfilled life. To name just a few accolades: St Paul’s school was listed as one of the top 40 most innovative schools in Australia by Educator Magazine in 2017; in 2018 an arm of Cambridge University listed St Paul’s amongst the 100 most innovative learning organisations in the world; and at the Australian Education Awards, sponsored by the Educator Magazine, St Paul’s school picked up four awards out of 24 categories—the most of any school in Australia – which included categories of best strategic plan, best professional development program, best innovation in curriculum, and best principal in a non government school.

internationally. Through his ground-breaking and inspirational work, Paul has been listed amongst the top 50 most influential people in education in Australia.

Pauls intrapreneurialism within the education sector has seen him publish numerous articles on leadership and he is a regular guest speaker at leadership conferences both at home and

*Paul is a speaker at the Australian Intrapreneurs Summit on 14th of March Brisbane Convention Centre. www.

While his work remains in education, the importance of trust and leadership in strong intrapreneurialism is just as pertinent to any other sector, and Paul’s passion and ability to inspire is far-reaching. “At the end of the day leadership is leadership no matter the context. It is my assertion that leadership is about two simple things: vision and trust. Great leaders cast a compelling vision and create a culture of trust which enables the innovation that needs to happen to achieve the vision.” For more on Paul’s work, visit




ntrapreneurship is most often thought about in terms of profit-driven business. However, while innovation and change is essential to the growth of the economy, intrapreneurial work is equally – if not more – vital in the not-for-profit sector. Sunrise Way, an addictions service provider based in Toowoomba, is a shining example of how intrapreneurship can transform a NFP business. In 2018, Sunrise Way was named national ‘NFP Business of the Year’ in the OPTUS MyBusiness Awards, but just two short years prior had been on the brink of closure. What changed was a radical and innovative overhaul to their in-house culture and broad business framework, putting intrapreneurialism at the forefront of the liberation. CEO Wendy Agar and her team took Sunrise Way from an environment with no real shared focus or solid business structure, to an outcomes-obsessed organisation with

clarity, aligned values and vastly improved communication practices. At the heart of everything they do is always the client. “We work with the most vulnerable, and often ‘voiceless’ people in our communities, who need and deserve organisations that focus on the best outcome for each client every day,” Wendy said. “The real impact of this continual improvement, obsession with client outcomes, our awesome team of passionate professionals and implementing world-class best practice is that we are helping many more people impacted by addiction to rebuild their lives.” All facets of business are interconnected, so it made sense to Wendy to transform these simultaneously. This all started with imbedding their ‘why’ into everything they do and working hard to create a culture where intrapreneurial

pursuits were valued and encouraged. This meant, amongst many other innovative and open ways of working: supporting diversity of thought and experience and background; continually upskilling all staff and seeking out additional transferrable knowledge from similar as well as other sectors, ‘over-investing’ in mentoring and individual growth needs of the team, regularly seeking feedback from all stakeholders and using this for continual improvement, encouraging an open and trusting team, and providing opportunities to propose solutions and act on them. As Wendy explains: “Intrapreneurialism is totally dependent on the culture of the organisation. Intrapreneurs are attracted to and thrive in learning, open environments with flat structures.” To support the agile, evolving team and effectiveness of Sunrise Way’s services, Wendy implemented new quality

management system and business tools. She established a routine for strategic and business planning to ensure they would remain viable into the future and worked hard on stakeholder engagement and finance management. The result of this overhaul has seen Sunrise Way go from a struggling NFP, to one with an incredible reputation and client waitlist. In addition to the residential program (and an example of their true commitment to their clients and the community), the team offers a weekly self-funded support program for families and significant others, free of charge. This came about as a response to a lack of services in the local area and now helps up to 20 people each session. Staff have also been trained in the SMART Recovery program to deliver a communitybased group for clients on their residential waitlist, simultaneously working closely with other community organisations to holistically service the needs of those seeking help.

Under Wendy’s leadership, the Sunrise Way team is making massive positive impact in their local community and beyond with their resilience, innovative programs, unwavering commitment to their clients and stronghelp values by which they live and breathe. However, the work does not stop here – the very notion that defines intrapreneurialism is the constant quest to improve. “To be intrapreneurial in any sector you need to be impartial towards the status quo! You need to be constantly curious, obsessed with outcomes, relentless in your search for a better way and have the courage to innovate, while remaining persistent, and resilient. Intrapreneurs in the NFP sector must also be constantly seeking data to drive continual improvement with their client at the centre of everything they do,” Wendy said. *Wendy is a speaker at the Australian Intrapreneurs Summit on 14th of March Brisbane Convention Centre. www.

INTRAPRENEURIALISM T h e G l o b a l M o v e m e n t O f T h e Fu t u re


hat do the dreamers, disruptors, and misfits within your company have in common? They’re your key to future-driven success: they’re intrapreneurs. Social entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs, are employees who think and act like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Intrapreneurialism is a global movement that’s sweeping progressive workplaces worldwide, unleashing a new trove of talent and potential. If your organization isn’t utilizing the leadership and creativity at its disposal, you could potentially be missing out on growth.

Intrapreneurs use creativity to think outside of the box, solve problems, and transform their organizations through innovation and passion. When managers allow these high-potential employees work freely, they allow them to create better workplaces, customer outcomes, products, and business models. This concept isn’t new. The term “intrapreneur” was first noted from a 1978 paper by Gifford Pinchot III and later by Steve Jobs in 1985 in an interview: “The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as intrapreneurship; only a few years before the term was coined—a group

of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company.” More recently, in 2014, eBay was able to engage in an entirely new market thanks to an employee with an intrapreneurial spirit. There, of course, have always been gogetters in companies who try to move the needle and push the status quo. But there’s never before been such a push from employees to take ownership in their portion of the company. From Australia to Singapore to the US, organizations are allowing employees to take ownership and boosting morale by creating new divisions, launching initiatives like environmental responsibility or parental leave campaigns, or even by bringing their hobbies to work. Even though enabling intrapreneurs to move freely within their restraints can lead to more company profit and generally increased productivity at all levels, companies are still finding challenges in the concept of social entrepreneurism. Corporate Immune Systems don’t allow the organization’s structure to support intrapreneurial behavior. Companies struggle due to high levels of defined schedules and tasks that deter opportunities for new ideas to be recognized. They also lack rewards for entrepreneurial behavior which creates a demotivating culture to search for new ideas. Businesses are also afraid of failure, which is hindering them from becoming open to intrapreneurialism, innovation, and development. They view innovation as a means to an end result rather than seeing innovation as the end

result. This skewed view doesn’t allow new ideas to flourish at all levels within an organization, and instead only allows it to trickle down from the top, usually protecting financial resources by avoiding risk and penalizing failure. By fearing the act of letting go of micromanagement and allowing employees to express creative thinking, companies are missing out on the positive impacts of intrapreneurialism. They’re not only missing out on a higher bottom line—i.e. profit and growth—but they’re missing out on innovative alternatives to existing solutions, stronger team development and efficacy, and general employee morale. And by now, all leaders and managers should know that companies

with high morale have higher levels of productivity and willingness to work in favor of the organization. This concept isn’t illustrating employees trying to do better at their existing jobs or greedily move up the ladder, it’s about them wanting to improve what is no longer working and create something that doesn’t currently exist. So how does a company begin to weave intrapreneurialism into the current framework?

CROSSING THE GENERATIONAL DIVIDE It’s irresponsible and counterproductive to refuse to acknowledge the new workforce. The rise of intrapreneurism is drive largely by young workers who are restless and wanting to make an impact. Millennials want autonomy, creativity, and meaning. If companies allow them to focus on something they find meaningful, they will stay and help the company move forward. And it isn’t just the kids who are working to change the scope of business. Older generations, perhaps inspired by their younger counterparts, are thinking more about launching new projects and establishing their legacy than before. These intrapreneurs are also important to note because they’ve proven themselves and shown initiative to change for the benefit of the company.

A SAFE SPACE TO CREATE An organization is only as strong as its employees, which is why encouraging creativity and innovation is a must in today’s corporate landscape. Companies worldwide are beginning to offer programs that encourage employees to create new projects and roles without penalty of failure. You can use formal conferences, webinars, and even career coaches to teach your team members important skills. By allowing teams to grow together, you are creating a sense of pride and camaraderie that will propel your business ahead.



very business or corporation needs an intrapreneur amongst its ranks.

They are the employees with an enterprising spirit working within a business or organisation to facilitate change, innovation and transformation. They are the workers with drive, ambition, tenacity and a clear focus towards the future and a never give up attitude. An intrapreneur is that one employee, who is prepared to go out on a limb, be progressive, rise to a challenge, look for a solution and learn from mistakes. Intrapreneurs are the dreamers who do;

those creative thinkers who feel compelled to take action. Intrapreneurs exist on all tiers of business from the very bottom to the top and everywhere in between. Every workplace has them but acknowledging them is a completely different ball game. Not every workplace recognises, values and nurtures the intrapreneurial spirit, which is a huge loss to both the business and the employee with the intraprenurial disposition. In the fast paced, competitive world of business, having an intrapreneur is a huge advantage and could be the key to unlocking your hidden profits.

Intrapreneurs can be a company’s secret weapon and one of their greatest assets. They are the employees who can help drive your business and expose potential, reduce costs, maximise profits and foster innovation.

HERE ARE SOME WAYS THAT INTRAPRENEURS CAN BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS: Increase Revenue: Any employee with new ideas, initiatives and a strong work ethic will add value and revenue to your business. Intrapreneurs typically display exemplary customer service and traits which see them actively seeking out every available deal and opportunity. They have extraordinary sale skills and the ability to facilitate change and progress beneficial to company profits.

Reduce Costs: Intrapreneurs save companies time and money on the costs of research and development. With the savvy, insight and strong work ethos of a handful of motivated and forward focused employees, companies can save thousands of dollars every year by eliminating the need for expensive external research and development. Foster Innovation: Intrapreneurs are big thinkers and big thinkers create and innovate. Nurturing the intrapreneurial spirit of your workers will keep your company at the forefront of the “innovation game”. Encouraging and rewarding employees who come up with new ideas and strategies will cement your place as a market leader. Breed talent: Success breeds success. If a company adopts an “intrapreneurial” approach and embraces employees

showing talent and ambition it is more likely that “success will breed success” and that the creativity of one employee will encourage other employees to reach out of their comfort zone and strive to achieve their goals. Increase employee motivation and morale: In a corporate culture that celebrates creativity, talent, hard work and initiative you will find a sense of positivity amongst your employees. When people have the freedom to express ideas and initiate change, you will find that staff morale is high and workers are more motivated to work harder and be more productive. Attract external talent: A company that embraces and nurtures an intrapreneurial mindset attracts like-minded thinkers. If your business fosters an intrapreneurial culture you will find that creative, motivated and upcoming intrapreneurs will come knocking at your door.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS THAT YOU CAN RECEIVE BY BEING AN INTRAPRENEUR: You get paid: The best thing about being an intrapreneur is that you get to act like an entrepreneur but with all the safety of being

an employee. You get to make a difference and be creative and innovative and take risks but all with the safety net of a weekly wage and superannuation! You make a difference: Anyone that is passionate can have an impact on the world. Intrapreneurs can use their creativity and innovation to change ideas and processes in the workplace. They can literally smash the glass ceiling and be champions for change. Higher chance for long-term success: Intrapreneurs have better odds to being successful and achieving financial freedom than employees who are not as forward thinking and willing to be innovative and take risks. Intrapreneurs typically take opportunities that are presented to them and use them as springboards for the future. Intrapreneurs can be any company’s greatest assets. They can potentially be more profitable than any product or service you have on offer. So don’t forget to actively look out for up and coming intrapreneurs within your company. Foster and nurture them so that they can unlock the hidden profits in your business – you might just find that your companies future survival will depend on them!



ith over 20 years committed to building competitiveness in business and industry through designing and implementing strategies to improve performance, Paul Hodgson understands the importance of intrapreneurialism not just in big business, but at a SME level as well. “I have always felt that the best businesses have employees who think and act like owners. That means that they are not simply clocking on and off each day, but truly thinking about how the business can be better at every opportunity,” Paul said.

Intrapreneurs ask questions, they are curious and not afraid of speaking up. They have a talent for picking up on the things that others may miss, such as a process that could use improvement, feedback that should be taken seriously or an opportunity for collaboration or innovation. “These qualities are critical to the long-term success of an FSME for a number of reasons. For the staff members, it drives a sense of purpose and belonging. For the business owner, it means you have a team of staff who also want the best for the business, coming up with new innovations that can be implemented to

drive continual business productivity, competitiveness and growth,” he said. This sense of purpose and belonging, coupled with an intrapreneurs innate sense of curiosity and drive, that can create massive potential for positive change within a business. Intrapreneurialism not only works to improve immediate outcomes, but ensures a business is future-ready by creating opportunities for expansion of the business or succession planning. With great staff on board who are committed to the wellbeing of the business and who equally feel supported in their endeavours, opening a new branch, extending operations to another sector or (when the time is right) handing the mantle on becomes a much less stressful reality. However, in order to achieve growth and improved competitiveness in the small business world, both parties (employer and intrapreneur) must be able to work together in a mutually beneficial way. Encouraging intrapreneurship within SMEs and family-run businesses revolves around fostering trust in leadership, support and open communication with the team. It is important to avoid a culture of control and authority where an intrapreneur is seen as a threat, rather than a key member of the team who genuinely has the best interests of the business in mind. “From an organisational perspective, it is important to create a culture of openness, honesty, transparency and reward that keeps the ideas flowing. Being dismissive, aloof or critical, particularly at early stages, can stifle intrapreneurialism and either lead to intrapreneurs departing the business or simply staying and keeping quiet,” Paul said.

“My experience of intrapreneurs is that they often prefer working as part of a team and can have a higher need for career and job security than entrepreneurs.” Paul’s suggestion for encouraging intrapreneurialism in FSMEs is to include some light and transparent structuring around innovation, taking into consideration ideation, execution and evaluation. This helps the intrapreneur feel valued while guiding the flow of ideas in the right direction. Aligning the organisation’s vision with core goals and strategies that give focus to intrapreneurial activities is also useful in business development, as is encouraging employees to spend time on their own pursuits to build autonomy and clear, fresh thinking. “Intrapreneurialism is really about unlocking what is known as ‘discretionary effort’. If your employees come to work to be the best they can be and to work with other people to achieve purposeful team goals, then your organisation is tapping into higher levels of motivation, commitment and creativity to drive productivity,” Paul summarised. Paul currently works as General Manager, Innovation and Stakeholder Engagement (East Coast) for the National Energy Resources Australia industry growth centre. His primary role is to collaborate with stakeholders to increase the productivity, competitiveness and export potential within the energy resources sector. He has a Bachelor of International Business, a Master of Sustainable Development and has recently commenced a part-time PhD in Small to Medium Enterprise Succession. *Paul is a speaker at the Australian Intrapreneurs Summit on 14th of March, Brisbane Convention Centre. www.





n organization is only as strong as its employees, which is why so many leadership gurus encourage managers to allow their employees to take ownership of their responsibilities and give them the freedom and support they need to succeed. This concept is called intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs possess the same drive and spirit as entrepreneurs, but put it to use for their employer instead of themselves. Intrapreneurs look for problems to solve and use their own initiative to find a solution. When companies build an environment that fosters risk-taking, innovation, and freedom, employees with an intrapreneurial mindset will thrive. Enthusiasm increases when people believe they have a real opportunity to think and transform and skyrockets when they know they will be rewarded. Enthusiastic teams become more consistent, effective, and beneficial to an organization. According to a study conducted by University of Phoenix, 93 percent of adults believe they possess at least some entrepreneurial qualities. It’d be crazy not to benefit from their motivation. There are seven crucial steps that allow organizations to benefit from these intrapreneurs at their disposal.


challenge or problem that will bring value to the organization? YES or NO 5. Systematize the intrapreneurial journey

1. Identify your intrapreneurs Do you have a clear and effective method of finding your high-potential employees that are willing, able, and excited to step up to the challenge of finding opportunity and solve problems for the benefit of the organization? YES or NO 2. Give them permission to challenge the status quo Do you have a process or set of guidelines set in place to enable creative and critical thinking/problem solving without fear of being shut down or dismissed? Can your employees ask difficult questions of upper management? You offer a safe space where outside of the box ideas can be heard and welcomed? YES or NO 3. Teach them to think like an enterprising start-up Have your employees gained the skills to start small projects before scaling up incrementally? Has your organization set guidelines for starting projects? YES or NO 4. Have a process for identifying problems worth solving Do you have a framework that enables people to analyze the worthiness of a

Do you have a documented and clear process to guide employees to intrapreneuralism and being effective and valuable change makers? YES or NO 6. Quantify the value your intrapreneurs create Do you have a method of calculating the actual return intrapreneurial initiatives bring to your organization? YES or NO 7. Celebrate intrapreneurialism Does your organization regularly and formally acknowledge the value of your intrapreneurs and celebrates their achievements and efforts? YES or NO

their morale will entice them to find opportunity and solve problems for the benefit of the organization.


FUTURE-READY? A score of 0-2: There are serious resources being wasted within your organization. High-value problems aren’t being solved effectively, and your organization might be struggling to be future-ready. 3-5: You’re on your way to creating an intraprenerurial, future-ready workforce but have room to improve. 6-7: You’ve created an intrapreneurialism culture and are using it to prepare your organization for the future. Well done! Regardless if your organization has a culture of intrapreneurialism in place or is starting from scratch, there is always room for improvement and development. Here are some ways to foster future ready, intrapreneurial mindset among your employees: » » Identify your intrapreneurs. Not all people are intrapreneurs. Some have a higher degree of potential than others and that’s OK. Scout out those employees with the intrapreneurial mindset and nurture them. Boosting

» » Empower people. It isn’t enough to encourage people. Employees need to feel empowered and ale to make decisions independently. Each person needs to feel a sense of ownership for their work. Give them the resources and training they need, and then let them work freely, letting them know their capabilities are backed by team belief. » » Fix problems as they arise. Entrepreneurs run the risk of a business failing if they don’t take responsibility and address problems immediately. Instill the same sense of urgency in your employees, and teach them to fix problems when they arise. » » Increase reward, minimize risk. Fear of risk stifles employees from taking creative chances. As intrapreneurs make decisions, they have to be willing to take risks and be prepared to be held accountable for the outcome. However, they should not fear mockery or maltreatment if they fail. The organization should have safe guards in place to avoid negativity and instead use positive reinforcement as an incentive to continue intraprenuerial attitudes. Celebrate the successes and the people behind them. » » Encourage healthy competition. Employees should have a healthy sense of competition with one another. It encourages them to do the best job they can and get results. However, as a leader, it’s your job to make sure they remember their success is intertwined.


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