Working Around the Barriers to Intrapreneurship

It's easy to have good ideas—execution is more of a challenge. If you search for information on the barriers to intrapreneurship, you'll find a million different articles listing a billion problems. But they all have one common element—the importance of communication. Whether it's clunky workflows that make it difficult to share ideas or lip-service initiatives that provide no support, it is both the cause and the solution to intrapreneurship barriers.

3 Barriers to Intrapreneurship 

The barriers to intrapreneurship can be broken down into three categories: lack of management support, no mistake culture, and lack of employee motivation. Usually, it's not a matter of an enterprise's people having good ideas. It's about whether they have the confidence and support to share them. That means addressing those three categories.  

Lack of Management Support

No Mistake Culture

No Employee Motivation

Employees often acknowledge that the lack of management support is one of their biggest challenges when it comes to intrapreneurship. Yet, management says it is one of their biggest priorities. WTF? If one side is willing and the other is prioritizing, this should be a match made in heaven, right? Or maybe it's a matter of management talking the talk but not walking the walk. 

Management can talk the walk and walk the talk with just a few steps. First, Get your hands dirty with your team. Be the mentor to the team, or heck, get in there and innovate with them. Second, make sure your team is clear about the direction the company wants to go with innovations. And third, make sure your team knows how to participate. Adopt a common language and set of procedures so your team feels comfortable. And, these are just three ideas of many.

Few things suck worse in life than failing at something. However, failing in front of friends, family, or co-workers is one of them. But do you know what could suck far worse? Never trying. This "no mistake" or "no error" culture has crept into the innovation space—and we don't like it. 

As an innovation manager, make sure that these feelings or mindset isn't affecting your team. Reassure them that they would rather be in the game with the opportunity to succeed or fail rather than watch the game and never have a chance at either. 

If the innovation team believes that they are supported despite whether they win or lose, they are much more likely to open up and truly put their best effort into the innovation process. 

We have said it before, and we will say it again. Employee engagement is one of the most critical factors in the innovation process. Sure, employees come to work every day, but that doesn't mean they are present or motivated to work or want to participate in an innovation program. If there isn't a special time and place set aside for employees to focus on innovation, the lack of motivation can be worse. 

Lucky for you, we have a great solution—gamification. This is where we tie it all together, so pay close attention. If employees come to work and know they have supportive management, the confidence to try, and the time and space to innovate, all while playing games in the process, they will be engaged, and a successful innovation program will be born. 

Moreover, an employee is more engaged through the entire process if they are the owner of that idea. It becomes their baby, their sweet bundle of joy.


These three idea management challenges can feed on each other. An individual who doesn't understand the language of an organization will lack confidence in their ideas. That will keep them from requesting the resources they need to implement them. However, because these issues are so connected, a single solution can be used to tackle all of them. 


Overcoming Intrapreneurship Barriers through Process Visibility

So how do enterprises overcome barriers to intrapreneurship? The first thing they do is acknowledge them. Very few companies have an innovation management strategy in place. They usually have buzzwords—just about everyone has been told their manager has an "open-door policy," but what does that even mean? Is Ned from production really expected to Spartan kick open the CEO's office door like he is Gerard Butler and say, "I think we should change our Warehouse Management System—you know, the one you use once a year for reports?"  

No, there needs to be a process that allows workers to share their ideas with the right person. All things in business have a flow. Innovation is no exception. A method of tracking that innovation and making sure it gets to the next step in the chain is key.

There's no one size fits all approach. Every organization will have different communication needs. However, a lot of organizations find that a centralized system is best. rready's KICKBOX is that centralized approach that focuses on a proven methodology and uses gamification to make innovation fun, promote employee engagement, and bottom-up inclusion of all employees. This approach makes innovation fully transparent to everyone and, as a result, accessible.

This is a solution to the barriers to intrapreneurship that creates a positive feedback loop. Workers get the physical and emotional support they need to communicate ideas. As others see their pilot project's liftoff, they'll be inspired to make contributions of their own.


Working With rready to Build Innovation Communication


rready is helping organizations charge past the barriers to intrapreneurship with our flexible KICKBOX program. Using our collaborative interface, your employees can share their ideas, get the resources they need, and see their vision become a reality! Our gamified KICKBOX toolbox is the perfect way for employees to be the CEO of their idea. It also discourages mistake culture by giving the employee the tools to pivot and proceed after the validation phase. So if you're rready to get your employees innovating, Contact us today to get started.

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