Liberating Leadership, Innovation and Creativity



An 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 t o 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.


1. Identify your intrapreneurs

Do you have a clear and effective method of finding y our high-potential employees that are willing, able , and excited to step up t o the challenge of finding opportunity and solve problems for the benefit of the organization?


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 f ear of being shut down or dismissed? Can y our employees ask difficult questions of upper management? You offer a safe space where outside of the box ideas can be heard and welcomed?


3. Teach them to think like an enterprising start-up

Have your employees gained the skills to star t small projects before scaling up incrementally? Has your organization set guidelines for star ting projects?


4. Have a process for identifying problems worth solving

Do you have a framework that enables people to analyze the worthiness of a challenge or problem that will bring value to the organization?


5. Systematize the intrapreneurial journey

Do you have a documented and clear process to guide employees to intrapreneuralism and being effective and valuable change makers?


6. Quantify the value your intrapreneurs create

Do you have a method of calculating the actual return intrapreneurial initiatives bring to your organization?


7. Celebrate intrapreneurialism

Does your organization regularly and formally acknowledge the value of your intrapreneurs and celebrates their achievements and efforts?



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

» 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 stifle s 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.