Focus Group: Creating Social Business intrapreneurs within companies
What is intrapreneurship and how does it relate to social business? This focus group will give you an insight in the emerging field of intrapreneurship via concrete examples of social business intrapreneurs and the challenges faced in driving change from within large corporations. Besides real life experiences, you will get the opportunity to explore in depth specific tools and receive tips from experts.
Moderator: Juan Carlos Diaz Bilbao (Full Economic Citizenship Coordinator Ashoka)
Stemming from a personal interest in wanting to find creative ways to engage corporate organisations (or individuals within large corporations) to be social intrapreneurs, I signed up for this focus group, led by Ashoka Mexico.
The League of Intrapreneurs toolkit which was shared encompassed these 5 key points:
STEP 1: Make a compelling business case: How do you balance passion and at the same time still not forgoing corporate/business priorities? Work with partners and external allies so that you can manage and share, risks and opportunities.
STEP 2: Negotiate the political system: Know the organization and the hierarchy you need to work with, engage with potential allies internally within the organization.
STEP 3: Build Communities of Purpose: Connect on a human level and find people who share your vision, and you will eventually get the adoption from your community and organization.
STEP 4: Unlock Scarce Resources: How can you effectively use existing events, platforms and activities within your organization to pursue your cause and rally support.
STEP 5: Foster Personal Resilience: You will need strength because it is almost like swimming upstream at the start. Engage with colleagues who are your allies, form internal support groups, etc. There could also be external allies and friends/support groups from outside the organization.
Corporate Sharing #1: Bonafont Mexico by Sofia Diaz Rivera
“I wanted more, I didn’t want to just sit at my desk and build marketing campaigns for Bonafont. I was looking for more value”.
“There are challenging days. But then, I see the beneficiaries and the positive impact which we have created, and it becomes OK. It helps me soldier on”.
“Work with partners! We know nothing about waste management, so we work with a waste management company and a local NGO”.
Corporate Sharing #2: DHL IT Services (Malaysia) by Giorgio Catucci
“I was looking for something new to do! And through a friend who was working with a local NGO, I learnt about social business and was sold!”
“So what is doing something good? Is it giving 10 bucks to the Red Cross? Is it going to orphanage and playing with some kids?”
“How are you going to create value within communities & society?”
“Start with small baby steps. My goal was 1 person in 1100 employees in my building to start an initiative. And it has happened, one guy has now started a project to teach english to kids in poor neighbourhood.”
“Managers and leaders need to walk the talk”.
“Keep the drum beating. Keep the pace. Don’t go to fast, nor too slow”.
But there will be challenges! Some of the challenges which were raised and discussed included:
- People want to see instant results and to believe, they want to see it – NOW!
- Making organizations see the value of real CSR when their aim is making profits and meeting sales targets.
- Navigating around people and systems within organizations.
- Transfer of knowledge internally and externally
- Senior Management buy-in, and middle management mobilization