Innovation is the lifeblood of progress, and intrapreneurs, just like their entrepreneur counterparts, are the driving force behind it within established organizations. However, intrapreneurs often face unique challenges that can demotivate their innovation journey. Today, we’ll delve into one of the top reasons that innovators fail or get demotivated and explore solutions to overcome it.
The Dilemma of Intrapreneurship
Intrapreneurs are individuals who act like entrepreneurs within a company. They are the internal champions of change, seeking ways to improve processes, products, and services. However, their path is not always paved with encouragement and applause. Unlike entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs don’t typically enjoy the same level of support and cheerleading from an external audience.
Inside companies intrapreneurs often run into a frustrating paradox. Companies say, “We want your ideas; we want you to innovate!” Yet, when intrapreneurs excitedly present their ideas, they are met with skepticism. Leadership exhaustively questions the feasibility of each idea to the point of rejection.
This demotivating cycle is vividly captured by the intrapreneur’s lament, “They told me they wanted my ideas and then rejected every one.” It’s a situation that many intrapreneurs can relate to, and it raises a crucial question: Why does this happen, and how can it be prevented?
Closing the “Need” Gap
To address this demotivation dilemma and keep intrapreneurs engaged and innovative, we must focus on closing what we can call the “Need” gap. The “Need” gap represents the difference between the innovation the company genuinely needs and what the intrapreneur perceives as the company’s needs.
One shocking statistic contributing to this gap is that less than 40% of mid-level managers can name more than two of their company’s top strategic priorities. Many employees are not entirely clear on what the company needs to achieve its goals and remain competitive. This lack of clarity stems from both the company’s lack of clarity in its strategy and the intrapreneur’s failure to understand what leadership is looking for.
Learn more about inspiring a culture of intrapreneurship and succeeding as an intrapreneur at our upcoming Unleashing Intrapreneurship Masterclass Introduction on October 26th, 2023.