Today's business climate is competitive and volatile. Leaders are looking for ways to scale growth, while fighting to attract and retain talent from competitors of all sizes. Knowing many workers find entrepreneurial environments appealing, small businesses are looking to leverage their nimble structure. Meanwhile, many larger organizations see the benefit of corporate entrepreneurship, or "intrapreneurship." This Wall Street Journal article outlines a several reasons why established companies need to foster intrapreneurship. Here are a few.
Continuous innovation helps a company to not only mitigate the challenges thrown up by the business environment but also to make the best use of new opportunities. This goes a long way in keeping the organization ahead of its competition and also keeps it fit to fight new entrants.
But innovation is not a one-off phenomenon; rather, it’s a continuously evolving process and needs a favorable environment to initiate and prosper.
Many successful business initiatives have been started by entrepreneur-employees inside established businesses.
turnstone is committed to creating exceptional workplaces that support and inspire entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs
In the WSJ article mentioned above, Harshdeep Rapal gave a few pointers for building a culture that fosters entrepreneurship. He included showing commitment to changing culture and rewarding new thoughts. Brian Shapland is General Manager for turnstone, a manufacturing partner of ours who pride themselves in creating interiors products that support and inspire entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (see their diagram above). He recently spoke with our team in Houston about entrepreneurial culture in organizations of all sizes (see the photo below). He shared how larger organizations are trying to disrupt themselves before smaller competitors do. He also shared how companies like Proctor & Gamble expect 50% of their innovation to come from outside their own company. To accomplish this, they will need the agility of a startup culture.
turnstone General Manager Brian Shapland shares research with McCoy-Rockford's Houston team
Using some of turnstone's articles, here are 3 tips for creating an entrepreneurial office.
1. Give Employees Places to Gather and Collaborate
Years ago, Starbucks labeled their coffee shops as a "third place" where people could enjoy a respite from their home and their office. They deliberately created a sense of community to attract consumers, but they also created a new kind of meeting place that met a need the traditional office didn't. By integrating characteristics of a "third place" into your office, you can give employees the same benefits without them having to leave the office, fight traffic, or compete with soccer moms for the table with a nearby outlet.
2. Give Your Space Some Personality
According to a turnstone Omnibus survey, 80% of small business owners or managers feel their physical space directly impacts their culture. In a HuffPost article, Aron Susman of TheSquareFoot lists reasons why it also effects team output. For years, Turnstone has been studying startup culture and identifying ways to create a welcoming, energetic, engaging culture. They have shown how a powerful workplace culture affects talent attraction, retention and employee engagement. By giving your space some personality, you can reflect the culture you are cultivating. This helps candidates and new employees "get" who you are, and it reinforces your purpose to even senior team members.
3. Design Your Space to be Agile
"Pivoting" is a buzzword in the entrepreneurial community. This means when Plan A isn't working, you shift to Plan B. Knowing when to pivot has been the key to the success of many startups. Stewart Butterfield has two of these pivot successes: Flickr and more recently Slack. An entrepreneurial culture also benefits from an agile workplace that can respond to market conditions and changes in the business strategy.
Here's a related article on how workplace design helps business agility.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or you're a larger organization looking to infuse intrapreneurship into your office, these tips will help you create stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit into your space and ultimately your workers. For more tips and ideas, you can download the latest turnstone 360 magazine here.