By giving employees the means to implement their own ideas for projects that are valuable to the company, intrapreneurship infuses processes with agility and broadens the potential sources of innovation. To encourage new ideas and the spirit of initiative among its employees, the BNP Paribas Group has adopted a genuine commitment to intrapreneurship. It’s a strategy that fosters internal cohesion as well as a spirit of teamwork.
A STRATEGY THAT encourages COHESION AND TEAM SPIRIT.
What do our managers see as the purpose of intrapreneurship?*
*Study conducted for the Pulse-on intrapreneurship accelerator
From the individual to the collective
To fulfil its objective of harnessing innovation to serve the company, intrapreneurship can’t just be one person’s private project – it must engage an entire team. Thanks to the innovative methodology they bring to bear, intrapreneurs act as catalysts within the company. They galvanise the company’s collective energy and turn something that begins as a single person’s inspiration into an innovative process that’s carried forward by the teams and the company itself. The intrapreneurial spirit of initiative must spread throughout all of the company’s employees.
Intrapreneurship gives employees a way to be a creative force within their companies, and to make this a core part of their working lives. Intrapreneurship puts people at the heart of a company’s success, helping everyone to bring out the best in themselves and to give their best to the company.
Did you know?
The concept of intrapreneurship first appeared in 1974, with the invention of the famous “post-it” notes by employees of the 3M Group. It was then progressively developed at other companies. We owe the term to the American Gifford Pinchot, who was the first to formally define the concept that same year.
Stimulating a culture of innovation throughout the Group
Intrapreneurship is an integral part of our strategy for innovation. Other Group entities around the world are setting up their own incubators for intrapreneurial projects in order to give their employees an opportunity to launch innovative projects. Examples of these include:
- The People’s Lab, which has been the BNP Paribas Group’s intrapreneur accelerator since 2014. Its mission is to work with employees who have innovative ideas and to mould these ideas into workable business models supported by the Group’s “internal investors”.
- Home for Innovation in Belgium, launched by BNP Paribas Fortis, is a 400 m² space that opened in Brussels in 2015. It fosters “disruption” and the exchange of ideas among intrapreneurs.
- Colibri in Switzerland aims to “transform employees’ ideas into concrete projects” and to foster the culture of bottom-up innovation.
- Lux Future Lab in Luxembourg. BNP Paribas Luxembourg’s start-up incubator has launched an intrapreneurship programme to help creative employees launch entrepreneurial ventures.
- TEB, in Turkey, has also launched a programme supporting intrapreneurship: “In-House Intrapreneurship Programme”.
“While it’s true that every company needs an entrepreneur to get it under way, healthy growth requires a smattering of intrapreneurs who drive new projects and explore new and unexpected directions for business development.” Richard Branson, head of Virgin and the source of the above quote, is far from alone in believing in the benefits of intrapreneurship.
Through dedicated venues and programmes, BNP Paribas aims to offer cutting-edge support, an effective methodology and a welcoming environment in which employees can refine, test and develop their concepts and then pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. The key: obtaining the budgets, cooperation and other resources necessary to launch their projects in the real world in order to accelerate the transformation of the Group.