This piece comes after my participation in a panel about intrapreneurship, purpose and sustainability at the Conscious Festival on November 3-4 in Singapore, organised by Stephanie Dickson and Paula Miquelis from Green is The New Black
Here is why we need to be committed to the entrepreneurial up-skilling of young and upcoming leaders in large companies. These young talented professionals will eventually become C-suite executives, calling the shots and making decisions for the future of their companies.
We need to ask ourselves how employees and future leaders of these companies can be empowered to push the sustainability agenda proactively in a compelling and credible manner. Professionals within large corporates are citizens with good intentions when it comes to solving problems and contributing to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They are aware of what is happening to our planet.
However, to go beyond wishful thinking, these motivated citizens working in multinationals need to be equipped with the right skillset to do good from a business perspective. Intrapreneurship training would allow them to iteratively test and experiment on business models that leverage corporate assets and resources while still making sense strategically and being profitable for the company. CSR along with Learning & Development departments could play their part and engage future leaders caring about key social, environmental issues by training them to test and develop these new business solutions.
These potential social intrapreneurs can experience frustrations in their jobs because of a lack of top management support for these initiatives but we need them to stay in these large companies more than ever as they can make change happen at a bigger scale. Corporates will have to act on this, as they might be losing the war for talent in the long run.
Ultimately, social intrapreneurship is about experimenting on business models leveraging corporate assets with social & environmental impact as the main goal. It also means collaborating with proven and corporate-ready social impact startups to scale innovative solutions forward.
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