Articles - Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Social Business

Intrapreneurship - the new normal? Intrapreneurs today, pioneers tomorrow

In the last installment of our three-part series on intrapreneurship, we explore which sectors might be most “intrapreneurially inclined,” and what the future might hold for intrapreneurs.


Preparing future work models

There is little current data on where intrapreneurship is most established, but we can outline a few key points. As demonstrated by the emergence of digital “disruptors” within established industries, successful newcomers are likely to be more innovative and intrapreneurial than established companies- who must, in turn, quickly develop similar mindsets to compete successfully. Moreover, industries with regulatory barriers to entry that protect established players become less innovative and less inclined to take new initiatives.

For most businesses, innovation and intrapreneurialism will be a matter of survival. Future generations will have different expectations from the companies recruiting them, and will be more sensitive to what those companies promote as their values and social responsibilities. They will expect a similar atmosphere in professional and private environments, and to be recognized as individuals - not as unreliable subordinates. Their inclination to think outside the box is fundamental to innovation and intrapreneurship.


Goodbye employees, hello intrapreneurs

An estimated 50% to 70% of today’s jobs in established, Western companies will be significantly impacted by digitalization and artificial intelligence. However, as more people develop the skills and behaviors to master and leverage these technologies, the companies employing them will become more sustainable.

This ‘new normal’ of innovation will push future businesses towards flexibility, creativity and openness to the world. In order to deliver products and services that create real value for all their stakeholders, these companies will need to offer employees the freedom to unlock their innovation potential. Those working for these companies will no longer be “employees,” but “innovative intrapreneurs.” Employers would do well to start preparing themselves.


To find out more about the future of intrapreneurship, download the new HEC Paris white paper: ‘Learning from the Experts: How to start your own business’.


Article based on an interview with Gérard de Maupeou, Professor of Strategy at HEC Paris, in an interview for Hays


Read more: The collective work and benefits of intrapreneurship

Gérard de Maupéou

Affiliate Professor, HEC Paris