Corporate Entrepreneurship: how to upgrade your business in times of uncertainty

Corporate Entrepreneurship: how to upgrade your business

The full-scale war in Ukraine began on February 24th last year and became another challenge for small and medium-sized businesses. Not only the problems related to electricity supply, the departure of staff abroad, and the decrease in customers' purchasing level, but also all the corporate gaps were exposed. That is why, no matter how difficult it is to maintain the vitality of an enterprise during wartime, it is worth reconsidering approaches to corporate entrepreneurship to strengthen your business during this challenging period.

Corporate entrepreneurship aims to create opportunities for the organization to accelerate business development.

That's why 65 percent of the 100 most innovative companies implement corporate entrepreneurship.

The advantage of introducing corporate entrepreneurship is that statistically, organizations with a solid entrepreneurial orientation show better results. They achieve higher productivity, innovation, growth, employee engagement, and financial profitability.

Even though business growth is always the primary goal of any entrepreneurial activity, corporate entrepreneurship is difficult to achieve. After all, the latter challenges traditional organizational practices.

There are three components for the implementation of corporate entrepreneurship:

  • People - leaders who possess action-oriented and qualitative change competencies
  • Process – internal systems that support entrepreneurial thinking and action
  • Place – an environment conducive to entrepreneurship, learning, and growth

Speaking about corporate entrepreneurship, it is worth emphasizing that it leads to systemic innovations, which are based on the fact that employees behave as partners of the company and are responsible for the final result; a system of autonomous teams is created, in which the "culture of mistakes" plays an important role. If employees are afraid to make mistakes in traditional business, in corporate entrepreneurship, failure is perceived as a growth zone that helps to form and develop effective teams.

As a result, the situation with staff improves as their turnover decreases. The team is expanding with employees and more qualified specialists who are fearless of professional challenges.

An essential factor in corporate entrepreneurship is its relatively similar management structure. Too many layers of management with slow decision-making processes kill the entrepreneurial spirit instead of fostering it.

All these aspects sound pretty theoretical, so a completely logical question arises - how to introduce corporate entrepreneurship?

First of all, it is the creation of mentoring and corporate coaching programs for training employees. The approach of lifelong learning should be fundamental, and a transparent training algorithm for employees should be developed with the involvement of internal and external resources. As an excellent example of such training, I would like to mention the "Entrepreneurship and Creativity" course at the Edinburgh Business School. The course encourages generating ideas, creativity, and innovation and implementing them through practical strategic planning, marketing, operational management, and finance tools. You can learn more about the course here:

When transferring business to the rails of corporate entrepreneurship, it is worth formulating clear goals and tasks for innovation. Every goal an employee sets for himself should resonate with the mission and vision of innovation. Here you can use the well-known SMART goal-setting system.

The company should have a favorable atmosphere for entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation. At this stage, everything you declared, particularly about the possibility of making mistakes, training programs, etc., should correspond to reality - "if you talk the talk, you should walk the walk."

But we should remember the control system so that the introduction of innovations does not disrupt current work processes.

Analyzing the aspects of corporate entrepreneurship, one may think that this is not the time because business is already experiencing many challenges in wartime. But such a corporate upgrade can help to stay on the market and reach a new level, especially if we are talking about the IT industry.