Chitra Anand, executive, researcher, and advisor, spends her time tackling major issues organizations face: how to innovate, how to create a positive company culture, and how to foster entrepreneurship at scale. These questions are both challenged by and answered by intrapreneurship—a movement spearheaded by innovators like Chitra. Hear Chitra explain why organizations need to embrace intrapreneurship, and read on to learn strategies to begin implementing it.
I have spent the past five and a half years researching this very topic. I have read hundreds and hundreds of journals, books, and articles. I have interviewed some of North America’s top leaders and thinkers. I have also spent the last 20 years in organizations observing. There are some fundamental things that organizations can start to do right away that will take them into a path of building a culture of intrapreneurship.
3 Intrapreneurship Strategies
1. Embrace the Unconventional Employee
What I mean by this idea is that the great minds and thinkers show up in different ways, and we need to identify who they are and value what they bring to the table. These people are the mavericks, the researchers, the disrupters, and the trend spotters. These are the people who are going to challenge the status quo. These are the dreamers, the people who will ask you “why not” until you get to your fundamental truths. These are the non-conformists. Know who they are and embrace them.
2. Apply First Principles Theory
Apply this theory to your thinking as a regular practice. The first principles theory is the idea of questioning everything until you boil something down to its fundamental truths. So many times as human beings we make decisions based on assumptions. Assumptions are incredibly dangerous because they are preconceived ideas. If you want to drive breakthrough thinking, you need to drill down deeper and deeper on the idea to extract the raw facts, so you can then better flow through business. Elon Musk did it when he wanted to make affordable electric cars for the mass market, and the world frowned upon him.
3. Force Debates
In my last blog post, I touched on the danger of conformity. The question now becomes, how do we combat this? In one of my CEO interviews, the idea of forcing debate was discussed. One of the leaders I spoke to indicated to me that it is impossible to have 100% agreement. If this is the case, then there is fear in the room. What this leader does is he forces debates. It is debate that drives innovation. it is the friction, the argument that opens people’s eyes. The magic truly happens in the debate. When leading meetings, it is incumbent upon you to encourage the debate. You have to create an environment that is conducive to disagreement. If you all disagree, that is good; this point is when ideation and creative thinking is born.
Written by Chitra Anand, Communications Executive and Advisor to High-Growth Companies