Focus on intrapreneurs: Tips to encourage internal entrepreneurship

Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs are buzz words today. However letting your employees be entrepreneurs inside your company is not straight forward.

Businessman turn on invention machine for glowing lightbulbs, representing to creat idea.
Businessman turn on invention machine for glowing lightbulbs, representing to creat idea.

In lots of Corporate time is to wake up the internal start-upers and copy/paste the start-up dynamic and growth into the existing organisation. The « start-up » state-of-mind is seen as the holy grail of product development and the good way to invent the future and to innovate. Some companies think that it is a question of life or death as Uber is the new Devil within Corporate.

One characteristics of start-ups is the agility in the way that they can test, learn, modify very fast in order to find quickly the good product for the right customers and opposite. This entrepreneur state-of-mind is the secret of internal entrepreneur also called Intrapreneur.

How can we encourage such behaviour? How can we leverage on the energy?

First of all there is a problem of human resource. Do you have the right talents for this new shift within your company? Corporates are risks adverse so they hire people that are risks adverses. But Corporate as such talents hates risks. And we are talking all about that. taking risks, failing and bouncing… Focus should be made on delivery, inside and outside the organisation.

Kick your employees out of the wall

Entrepreneurs are creative people. How do they manage to be creative and find new ideas of products or services? Observation and connection are keys. Those guys are out, they observe, they look at things, they ask people. Creativity is really often the possibility to connect an existing concept with a need and manage to adapt it and fill the gap.

One should push employees out of the wall to encourage their creativity, open their minds and increase their creativity.

Too much experts

Your company is organised in order to have experts discussing of their technical points. It reminds me the quote for Einstein stating more or less that we will have the same solutions if we try to solve the problem the same way we ever did.

That’s about innovation, letting new things fertilize our minds and generating new ideas and new way to address one issue or one need.

So  let your employees go out and get inspired by what is outside the company. Then brainstorm internally to get the best out of this. I have heard really often my colleagues or clients saying that « no our industry is different, it will never work here »… Well did they try already? hard enough? I am sure no. I am sure no because I ran several workshops of this kind with outstanding results in very different industries; Energy (of course, that’s my job) but also electronic, Insurance, banking…


Coworking is key and allow team to leverage their capabilities and results. So if you are trying to establish a culture of entrepreneurship within your organisation, don’t forget to plan co-working possibilities. Because finding the good resources, the good knowledge (connecting) within the company is a entrepreneur state-of-mind. Mixing temporarily (sometime for an hour) the people with different expertises will add so much value to your project.

Do you have your own office? Alone in a room. I do. That’s counter productive for innovation and coworking. Set coworking space: a fablab or innovation Lab, a meeting room transformed to be the Project’s place, an open office…

In a future article about #MyDigitalTransformationProject (follow this hashtag for more info) I will present you our dedicated office and what advantages it gives to the project.

What is an intrapreneur?

Someone who is curious, interested, open minded, an expert of nothing but good at everything, a continuous learner (on that point try to find out how much employees in your organisation are attending to MOOC… That’s a good sign), taking manageable risks, knowing how to learn from failure, enriching his/her knowledge with other experts, connecting the dots to make a new picture.

My Digital Transformation Project: How Design Thinking can help

homepage_slider_digichannels-640x300Hi all,

This is the first article about a kind of Innovation project which is more a transformation project for a company: Digital Transformation Project.

I will share with you the part of the approach I am using at the time at a large company to start their digital transformation.  In coming articles I will keep you informed about the successes and difficulties we are facing and how to leverage or avoid them.

First of all we have set our goals when dealing with the Digital transformation. This is a very important step as one should clearly know what he/she is seeking and what are the main drivers of this transformation. Setting your goals and understanding the drivers are key to establish a proper approach but even more importantly to accurately communicate about it. A transformation project, digital or not, is before everything else a Change and thus requires a change management approach! Of course, in addition of all tools and methods described here, we will use the standard PM tools. I am myself PMP certified and that can’t lie 😉

In this first article I have chosen to share with you our approach mainly based on two tools.

Service Design

If you want to learn more about service design, please go to my related articles including this one.
As a tool for Digital Transformation, we will use the ServiceDesign approach to simulate and modelize the actual service and the « digitally transformed » one in order to establish which parts of the service will be modified, what kind of user experience will be modified/provided and which technologies will be the most suitable to our goals.

Among the tools of ServiceDesign, Customer Journey and ServiceBlueprint are the ones I expect to use most. I have already used it with great results.

The Service Design approach will thus allow us to determine at which extend we should modify our service to achieve our goals while enhancing our customer experience or I should say our stakeholder experience. In this project, the digital transformation of an existing service will not only transform the service for our client, hopefully providing him more value but should also enhance the experience of all the actors of the service, front and back office, in order to provide value throughout the whole chain. Focusing a Digital Transformation Project ONLY on customer is missing part of the value. To be sure to identify all our stakeholders and their true interests into our project, I am focusing on a standard Project Management tool, the stakeholder mapping.


Once that done, mainly without name but more with position, status or title, I will use the persona as to track their characteristics.


Value proposition

The second family of tools we will use is issued from the Value proposition method. Of course setting decoding for each stakeholders their pain and gain and true job will allow us to map all the interests within the scope of the project as well and setting in front of their true needs the « digital » answer that will ease their job.

To do so we are aiming to use the value proposition canva or equivalent.


I will also be very happing to interview stakeholders with the Job To Be done cards I am testing for a couple of months now by JBriggs

jtbdWe will make the exercise for each persona type we will have defined previously.

From all that work we will prototype our new service, using technologies and usages that seem to us the best choice in order to bring this service in a new world-class standard.

I have already used this method with great success in other projects but never with a so high digital and IT content. If you have any other tools that could help, feel free to share.

Next article of the « My DT project » serie will be about managing the organisation providing the service while you are running a project aiming to drastically transform the performed work.

Happy New Year on INNOWEO

HappyNew YearWahou!!! Almost a year with you, sharing my thoughts on Innovation and Project Management: I Hope it worth your time.

After a year which has been full of ups and down, full of joy and tears, I am really happy to start a new era for INNOWEO.

As you know we have 2 projects in the pipe coming soon (stay tuned to be the first to know) that have required a lot of efforts and a lot of energy. But we forecast a lot of success!!

For this New Year we commit at INNOWEO to:

  • Provide you with the best of Innovation and Innovation Project Management among the web.
  • Provide you with the best articles on our topics
  • Give you our best advices on Innovation, open innovation and innovation projects.

We Wish you a very good Year 2016 full of innovation and project management. We hope that the coming months will be full of success. At last, but most important, we wish you all the best for you and for your family.