Intrapreneur in Residence as a Service

Intrapreneur / Entrepreneur in Residence

“Entrepreneur in Residence” commonly referred to founders of startups formerly acquired or exited, channeling their growth/entrepreneurial expertise into a full-time corporate position.

More associated with venture capital (VC) firms.

Whereas, Intrapreneurs in Residence assume a bridge role between the corporation and the technology Startups or R&D companies.

A new position for the corporate scene, yet a permanent one with the new business dynamics. The intrapreneur in residence is an interpreter, speaking Startup, and Corporate languages with the same fluency.

Cartoon by Rens van den Bergh — https://www.afce.co/convince-management-to-implement-intrapreneurship/

Building an ecosystem company

A meaningful corporate transformation in the digital era requires ecosystem company skills. Companies with stakeholder culture and processes to work with outside talent in different verticals and markets.

But how do you onboard the outside talent, and tap into innovative trends and business models overnight?

All departments are in for a culture change. But, culture change takes time and a lot of iterations. That's why the Intrapreneur in Residence model, is a transformation strategy for an adaptive corporation. A membrane that allows interaction with the outside yet does not get the harmful stuff inside. An innovation de-risking agent.

Responsibilities -Intrapreneurs in Residence

For the past 2 years, we have built expertise in several corporations as intrapreneurs in residence. Corporations with different verticals and target markets. Chemicals/ mobility /heavy machinery/energy/mining, and a bank-led accelerator/venture company.

So here are some of the things we found useful for an intrapreneur in residence.

  • Painstorming with business units

All employees acquire a unique sense of their company. Suboptimal company work processes and daily pain points encountered, triggers a response for all workforce. These responses lead to opportunities, solutions, and optimization when realized in time. Otherwise, the response leads to frustration of not being heard, meaning performance decline or retention problems.

Ford Otosan was the first company that welcomed the painstorming sessions with business units. After conducting interviews with different teams in Gölcük and Eskişehir sites, we identified a list of incremental opportunity areas. Almost every engineer we interviewed, knew about the improvement areas. Almost all of them tried to create their own solutions or googled one. Bringing the solution provider startups and R&D companies to the factory, having a Q&A session, meant recognizing the workforce effort and empowering them to take responsibility for innovation.

  • Recognition of talent as a retention strategy

Innovation takes time and demands risk-taking. But to devote the time and take the risk, one needs motivation. What better motivation than actively taking part in change and impact? To be recognized for your creativity.

Corporate open innovation is initiated mostly by the innovation department or business development & strategy departments. Recent research clearly puts HR in the center of innovation strategy ( FORBES: Innovation Can Make Or Break Employee Retention by Carolyn Slaski https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2018/09/04/innovation-can-make-or-break-employee-retention/?sh=52ed1a5e2d27)

Companies invest in their 𝒆𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒐𝒚𝒆𝒆’𝒔 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒓𝒔 and 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕, by empowering “all business units” in the innovation process & engagement with Startups and R&D companies. The role of the intrapreneur here is to identify the different skills needed for every other innovation project, in separate business units. Different business unit champions for different projects.

  • Global benchmarking

As an intrapreneur, I work for the best in their vertical. All the holdings and companies I worked for bring in the best expertise. And the expertise brings knowledge/expert blindness. Knowing things to the core or having experimented previously on a similar case, is a setback that can be overcome with the work of an intrapreneur.

With global benchmark studies, intrapreneur continuously updates the corporate intelligence with new adjacent markets and business models startups are creating or where the same vertical firms are investing their innovation efforts with investment or corporate accelerators.

  • A facilitator between tech solution providers and the company

Establishing a pool of possible innovation needs is one thing. Prioritizing them according to factors like company strategy/technology readiness level/deployment channels/type of engagement / strategic importance is a highly demanding process. Because it requires the intrapreneur in residence to be aware of the level of supply and the strategic importance of demand, while both are changing dynamically so often.

Corporate Startup Engagement Loop SAMPLE -Methodology shows differences with every other company

That is why a methodology is a life-saving reference point to boost corporate intelligence and run simultaneous cycles without getting lost. The intrapreneur in residence works as a project manager or assists one, in an open innovation campaign.

The aim of the methodology is simple, identify and engage with startups. This can be a bank-led accelerator/ insurance tech program /FMCG marketing campaign / renewable energy corporate innovation program/under-the-radar year-round intrapreneur in residence service.

Our passion is to create impact by accelerating meaningful corporate change.

Matchmake the old know-how with the new.

Our ancestors, the industrial workforce, and giants got us here. With the intrapreneurs as a service offer, our responsibility is to transform corporate intelligence into more agile models. What makes us unique, is our ability to customize our methodology for different verticals or companies.

We are a bridge between internal and external talent. With each engagement, we gain a wider perspective of the innovation dynamics and the change we create gets more meaningful.

Atilla Erel & Baran Korkut — April 2022 Dubai & Istanbul

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