The Lens - Changing Perspectives

What is intrapreneurship?

As this week is Global Intrapreneurs Week – you can follow what else is happening using the #GIW2020 on twitter – we thought we’d go back to basics with a blog on what intrapreneurship is.

Simply put, it's acting like an entrepreneur inside a large organisation. At The Lens we believe that those closest to the problem often have the best solutions to the problems our customers are facing.  

Cultivating an intrapreneurial mindset is a proven way to overcome the barriers to innovation that exist within an organisation. It gives people permission, regardless of their seniority, to find better ways of doing things. They’re allowed to see a problem, develop a potential solution and stick their head above the parapet and say, “What if?”. 

It also encourages people – who are often not the usual suspects – to embrace a spirit of adventure, a boldness of imagination and critically, the persistence to see an idea through to implementation. All whilst still managing to do the day job.

What will investing in intrapreneurship do?

When leaders invest in intrapreneurship it drives performance. Innovation is driven by the people inside organisations. Their skills, knowledge and expertise create new ideas, yet often these lie dormant. Encouraging the right mindset is critical to unleashing the creativity of your people, and in developing an intrapreneurial culture. This allows you to create new products, services and business models shaped by those closest to the problem.

We’ve included two brilliant examples of intrapraneurship below from CHAS and Stirling Council who we’ve worked with recently.

How do you recruit a whole new workforce?

Intrapreneur Kate McCusker, CHAS, Community Pharmacy Network 

Kate McCusker, the only paediatric palliative pharmacist in Scotland, had an idea. She wanted to train and develop pharmacists across Scotland to allow them to deliver palliative services directly to children. In doing so, she would massively extend the reach that CHAS had. She would do this by providing the clinical support that families of children with life shortening conditions need, not on site, but within their own community.  

Through The Lens, Kate understood the importance of being able to effectively communicate the value of her idea to a range of different stakeholders. She had the expertise but needed help to translate her knowledge in ways that helped her persuade those that she needed to get on board believe that this was important. After developing her idea with The Lens and winning investment, Kate pitched to both Community Pharmacy Scotland and the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Scotland; successfully securing their support for the pilot. 

Her Lens Mentor was instrumental in providing her with the support she needed to get their buy in for this transformative project. Kate continues to develop her ambitions, developing new strategic partnerships for CHAS while creating a new workforce to help them deliver their mission of reaching every family that needs them. 

How do you solve funeral poverty?

Intrapreneur Tam Rennie, Stirling Council, Affordable Funerals

A close friend of Tam – an intrapreneur from Stirling Council – lost his mother. Wanting to give her the send-off she deserved he took out a loan to cover the cost of the funeral. Six months later he also lost his father. Still paying off the first loan he couldn’t take on more debt and had to give his father a no service cremation. He was devastated he couldn’t give him the same send off his mother had. 

Tam calls funeral poverty a disgrace. Working in a cemetery he knew he could do something about it. He developed his initial idea through Lens workshops, testing and pivoting, negotiating with key stakeholders and brokering agreements. 

He successfully pitched and won the investment needed to turn his idea into action. Stirling Council can now offer affordable funerals on a fully commercial, sustainable basis at a rate of £1600 compared to the national average of £3,600. Tam’s ambition is to grow and replicate the service across Scotland, making funeral poverty a thing of the past.

If you are interested in developing your intrapreneurial skills and mindset, why not sign up to one of our Lens Labs, a range of free 90 minute workshops.