I have always maintained the analogue of an organization resembling a ship. The ship ought to float, and also have desired motion-cum-navigational capabilities. No doubt these capabilities and even the core existence of the ship per se, emanate from risk taking entrepreneurial initiatives of promoters and possibly top management.
The entire body corpus of staff or human talent in the organization, irrespective of hierarchy and function too should be in synch with this risk taking and entrepreneurial instinct. How does that functionally happen? – by setting in intrapreneurship. Traditionally, this is defined as risk taking by staying an employee and from within the organization: I must say a limiting definition. I would rather take the following split up of the word, as connotative of progressive action:
Intra: every employee needs to have an Inter and Intra perspective. Inter-departmental and inter-functional connect and understanding is imperative. This yields a holistic grasp of what an organization is, no silos please. Intra asks for within role and within function deeper dive, so as to evolve to higher excellence. Such an engagement, helps identify issues, and their genesis on a superlative plane; accordingly possible solutions come easy to mind.
pre: every employee, being in touch with ground realities and active action, is supposed to be eyes and ears of senior leadership. She can be first post to smell problems, and first post to conceive solutions. In this sense, the a priori or ‘pre’ stage works best. Do your best to do fundamental groundwork and research, which acts as fodder for higher munching and cud chewing. Then fearlessly, share your theses with top management – find access routes.
neur: Etymologically neur means what? dunno. Let it be an acronym for Newness, Emerging, U (you), and Remorphing. Newness is the essence of risk taking, of creativity in business. It brings life to strategy, by thinking of different/ new goals/approaches/alignments. Old has to be treasured, new has to be revered. Keeping a tab on emerging trends and situations allows proactivity – which creates a lead on others. Risk taking is born in the womb of anticipatory action, not reactive posturing. Employees, by managing the avant garde, are best situated to sense the emerging. It all has to be U(you) focused. Who is this U (you)?, the customer of course. Customer-centricity alongwith consumer care allows convergence of organization parts and divisions. This U also implies increasing Uses, Users and Usage, bound however to sustainable and socially responsible levels. The noblest drive for the organization is to remorph, equip and configure itself in such a manner that it can change quickest: in weeks, not months; in days, not weeks; overnight, not in days. A deep ‘know’ of the customer, company, competition and context allows this.
ship: as asserted earlier, the whole ship point of view has to prevail. A unison and integrative view is required; the parts of the ship can’t move differently and in different directions. United we float and divided we sink. Naturally, participative decision making rules the roost.
So get going onto intra-pre-neur-ship.