Which Way Do I Go?

Strangely enough this shot caught my eye – partly because I needed to get my breath back having climbed up from the Wharfe valley but also because

It’s a lovely rustic image, which captures a place that businesses often find themselves in.

The crossroads.

Clichéd but nonetheless true

There are many occasions when a crossroads presents and now more than ever individuals and businesses need firstly to be open enough to stop and acknowledge them and secondly be agile enough to change direction if required.

It’s interesting and very healthy in my view that this need for agility gives rise to a need to change the traditional cultures of business and allow for more agility within both the organisational structure and in the attitude to employees.

Now I’ve travelled in and out of Leeds on the train quite frequently over the last few weeks and the overheard conversations and general atmosphere don’t give me the impression of an overwhelmingly joyful workforce, so it seems to me that there is both a need for and a desire for change.

Can we bring about change, which will generate some joy, create an economy which, “lives to work” not “works to live” and enable our economy as a result to be more productive in the face of ever increasing competition?

The answer to this question is “yes” if you embrace the ideology of a new movement, which is gaining momentum, “intrapreneurship

This movement cites the key to the necessary agility resting with the need to acknowledge and empower employees and create cultures, which are collaborative and allow innovation with ideas travelling bottom up rather than the traditional hierarchical top down route.

Intrapreneurs are essentially entrepreneurs within organisations who are given the freedom to express their ideas and who are even allowed to occasionally fail, most entrepreneurs if they are honest should admit that failure is a critical part of the success journey.

A report from the CIPD, Entrepreneurs “What can we learn from them” (1) highlights the changes to Work, the Workplace and the Workforce, which are being modelled in these Entrepreneurial organisations

Unsurprisingly successful entrepreneurial organisations are often effective in empowering intrapreneurs, as these organisations are changing the way that business is conducted in many aspects but in particular with reference to cultures and employee engagement.

Accepting that organisations led by entrepreneurs are forward looking and seeking to make changes either to products, services, processes or markets then the organisations that they create will invariably foster individuals capable of delivering that change and create cultures, which enable change.

But it is not just the entrepreneurial organisations, which need to leverage the power of intrapreneurs, small & large private and public sector organisations all need to flex to enable growth.

This is not just a movement to read about it’s something that needs to gather followers and business owners willing to make the changes to their workplaces

So as you work your way through your week have you got some thinking time in your diary?

Can you see the crossroads on the horizon?

And are you going to be able to adapt to a possible change in direction?

If not then maybe its time to go and find out a little bit more about your employees and unlock some of the imagination and innovation which is bubbling away in your organisation.


(1)Research Report July 2013, Refn 6251, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Keeley Molloy