Enabling intrapreneurs in FM | Macro

Enabling intrapreneurs in FM


By Mark Graham, Commercial Director, Macro International

Within Facilities Management (FM), companies are often asked about innovation: how creative are their solutions and what is the latest groundbreaking trend? In my opinion, innovation starts with the leadership within an organisation and cascades down, promoting an intrapreneurial mindset. Managers who think like entrepreneurs even though they operate within a large company, are often more flexible in their approach, can think outside the box and are solutions-oriented. These are proactive, motivated, self-starters, comfortable with taking the initiative, even within the boundaries of an established business environment, in search of service innovation. What we call, pursuit of a better way.

Company leaders who are intrapreneurial tend to take more risks by perhaps entering new markets or launching new products; they constantly brainstorm new ideas, and they are more prone to accept (and even welcome) change. This means that the organisation is constantly evolving and is able to meet new market demands or is able to accommodate the needs of the new generation of individuals who are joining their company.

This approach, with open minded leaders, creates a flatter hierarchy, which also serves to motivate staff who feel they can contribute ideas and that their opinions matter: less closed doors and more open dialogue.

What is value?

Value can be measured in terms of money or how useful you are to a client: what are your services worth? But it can also be measured in terms of the efficiencies, improved productivity, or the new opportunities that the intrapreneur identifies and consequently ceases for the benefit of both the company and the client. A new technology which could improve service levels for example can be seen as a risky investment – will it reap the benefits or will another technology outperform this one in a year's time? – but can also differentiate you from the competition. An intrapreneur will do a risk and reward analysis but is more likely to act then to get bogged down in protocol. Good or bad? As long as it's never at the expense of a client, rewards can far outweigh the risks because it can bring you to the forefront of your business.

"Creating" value vs "adding" value

Intrepreneurial leaders encourage their teams to not just "add" value, but to "create" value. How is this done? Hopefully your teams and individuals are already able to identify the value that can be added to a project or client, for example something that complements the existing services. However, by instead creating value, we're looking for something brand new, outside of the box, something that doesn't already exist. It requires a keen understanding of what your client wants when most likely they are unaware that they are looking for value creation; followed by crafting a bespoke solution to meet those expectations. That is creating something unique and original for the client, something that differs from the norm.

By "creating" as opposed to "adding" value, I believe we are pushing the boundaries, and the very definition, of FM. New ideas and delivery models will come into play which will change the FM landscape and create truly innovative solutions. Intrapreneurs are needed for this to happen. They are valuable to a company because they bring new ideas and creative solutions. It's therefore important to foster an environment where they can thrive.