This month I have been focusing on my Intrapreneurialism[1] in Government message. I did a webinar last week  on this topic, am delivering a workshop called Creating Intrapreneurs in the Public Sector this week and at the end of the month will be doing a breakout session for the Business Innovation and Improvement in Government Conference on this subject.

In each of these contexts the response has been OVERWHELMING. The webinar had the highest number of registrations EVER of any webinar I have ever run. The workshop was booked out a week in advance. And the conference organiser just contacted me to say that they have had to move my breakout session to the main stage area because of the large number of registrations.

What does this all mean?

To me it says that this idea of intrapreneurialism in government is ‘irresistible because it is an idea whose time has come’ (to paraphrase Victor Hugo).

Why has this topic captured people’s imagination and attention right now?

  1. Government is rapidly transforming itself right now to rise to the challenges of providing better services in better ways to create a better society for citizens. I believe it is safe to say that there is now a general acceptance that pursuing business-as-usual in a rapidly changing world is a dangerous and outdated strategy that will lead to unintentionally creating risks and vulnerabilities rather than preventing them. To do this government needs people who can think and act like intrapreneurs to turbocharge the transformation imperative.
  2. People who work in government are increasingly feeling more empowered to drive positive change. (Caveat – unfortunately not everywhere, it depends on the culture of the agency). There is now greater opportunity for people to take ownership of innovative initiatives and projects.
  3. The future of work is making it imperative for people to develop themselves in a way that will future-proof their careers. Intrapreneurial employees are the most valuable of all. Someone with a reputation for being intrapreneurial will be in demand in the workplace of the future. In a fast-moving world, intrapreneurs are the source of energy and creativity that helps an organisation, especially one  steeped in bureaucracy, to find and exploit change and innovation opportunities. They are the MOST valuable of all employees!

An article in Forbes Magazine called Beyond Employee Engagement; Why one intrapreneur is worth a hundred engaged employees[2],  reports on research that suggests that instead of investing lots of resources trying to engage disengaged employees – it is a far better return on investment of the organisation’s resources to work with the people who are already engaged to take them to an even higher level of performance.

So right now there is a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions giving rise to the need for intrapreneurialism and intrapreneurs in government.  It is an idea whose time has come.

[1] Intrapreneurialism – thinking and acting like and entrepreneur while working inside a large organisation

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymyler/2013/09/13/beyond-employee-engagement-why-one-intrapreneur-is-worth-a-hundred-engaged-employees/#1ba97af3736c


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