Most of the entrepreneur would love to stay at an arm lengths from a large scale enterprises. The restrictive corporate environment does not attract them. People who came out of these organizations and became entrepreneur cite bureaucratic hurdles, lack of innovative work and not much risk taking attitude. To a large organization, the effects are clear but often overlooked. When an ambitious employee or a group of employees walk off, they not only cause a loss to organization in cost of experience lost but also the cost of business that they might take away.
Increased visibility of these new ventures may slowly cause many other employees to switch over, making things even more difficult. However the large organization do have some advantages that they can leverage. One of them is huge capital at their disposal. In combination with this and innovation driven policies and programs, a large scale enterprise can not only nurture the in-house entrepreneurs but also increase its overall employee satisfaction ratings. Let me outline some of the steps that a large organization can take to nurture entrepreneurship in-house.
- Create a separate entity called ‘Innovation Center’ and keep it alive:
- Find out employees that have entrepreneurial instincts:
- Create a forum and let ideas flow:
- Fund the ventures that look good in long term:
- Praise the contributors:
- Create policies around entrepreneurship:
If your employees don’t see any action after you have started the center, they will leave. So make sure that ‘Innovation Center’ really works as it is intended to.
It is not difficult to find employees who possess these instincts. You can find them in staff meetings, appraisal discussions and during exit interviews. Find them and re-hire them if required.
One of the company I worked for did this effectively. It gained a lot of ideas and implemented them successfully.
Let people submit ideas and plans. You would be astonished by the enthusiasm. Let them own up idea, formulate plans and present them. If there is a funding approval, then put them to task ASAP.
Award successful project. Award even the failures, modestly. Let people come out with ideas without any fear. An entrepreneur learns with time and if he knows that company likes risk taking, he will try better.
Set budgets on entrepreneurship. Develop long term and short term funding policies. Put intelligent, innovative people as in charge. Avoid bureaucratic hurdles. Set only targets. Entrepreneurs are very driven so there is no need to impose restrictions on them.
If large organization implement these suggestions then they can reduce attrition to almost zero, stop employees from becoming competitors and gain more market share. Who would not love that?
Entrepreneurs too get comfort of the large organization and its resourcing and funding. It is a win-win situation, if only large organizations start thinking about it.