Intrapreneurship: emlyon business school's bet
Published on 2023.04.27
Moving from an idea to a supported concept with a well-structured business plan, learning to pitch, creating a sustainable and effective dynamic within a team... Intrapreneurship is an opportunity for members of a company to take on the role of project leader for an atypical and personal mission over a short period of time. The "Safran's Intrapreneur Bootcamp" program, co-built with emlyon business school, showcases the benefits of intrapreneurship with a training solution grounded in the company's reality, rather than the myth of the eccentric entrepreneur.
Being a pioneer is never an easy task. However, when Roland Calori, professor of strategic management at emlyon business school and director of research, proposed that Véronique Bouchard, a new teacher and researcher at the school, take an interest in intrapreneurship in the year 2000, the die was already cast. "We started our first courses dedicated to intrapreneurship in 2005. A few years later, large groups such as Orange France Telecom, the pharmaceutical group Bristol-Myers Squibb, MACIF, and the industrial group Plastic Omnium, turned to us," she shares. Today, as a reference in the field, emlyon business school continues to offer custom training programs for companies. Additionally, the school has developed training courses tailored to individual profiles: an MBA with a corporate entrepreneurship specialization and short programs with a certificate.
What do the participants of the training expect? To acquire the posture and knowledge that will enable them to carry innovative projects within their company, discover how to transform the corporate culture, and implement favorable mechanisms to intrapreneurship. For Véronique Bouchard, "intrapreneurship allows us to meet several fundamental needs of the company, such as attracting and retaining talent, developing the company's business, or promoting individual learning. It allows us to accelerate the development cycle of a project by bypassing traditional procedures."
Le « We love intrapreneurs » de Safran : un programme sur-mesure
In this vein, the Safran intrapreneurship program was developed in collaboration with the emlyon business school team and the Safran Innovation Department. The program has trained 7 teams, each composed of 4 employees. "emlyon business school's pioneering reputation in intrapreneurship brought legitimacy to our project internally. Its understanding of the economic issues faced by large companies, combined with knowledge of the new methods used in start-ups, was a decisive asset in the program's success," rejoices Olivier Leclerc, Intrapreneurship Manager at Safran.
The program trains "innovactors", actors capable of rethinking their work methods and injecting new dynamics into the company. emlyon business school supports the incubated projects and improves team dynamics through task allocation. At the end of the four-month program, interspersed with regular coaching sessions by emlyon business school coaches, two teams managed to generate interest from the acceleration program set up by Safran. Their job description now states "intrapreneur", and they are responsible for integrating their projects into the Group's products and services.
Business and talent benefits
With this "boot camp," Safran wanted to recreate the intense conditions that make entrepreneurship effective in business: "*As an entrepreneur, we always see the glass as half full, we transform a constraint into an opportunity*," says Rickie Moore, professor of entrepreneurship and educational director of the Safran SIB program at emlyon business school. Designed in three sessions of three days each and developed in close collaboration with Safran, the boot camp was held at Safran's facilities in Massy, Saclay, and on emlyon business school's campus in Paris. The program included transforming ideas into opportunities, validating a market, conducting feasibility studies, business plans, pitches... all with a strong emphasis on team cohesion. "The training launches participants on a trajectory of intrapreneurial transformation, which takes them out of their comfort zone," explains Rickie Moore. "They must acquire knowledge, skills, and good intrapreneurial behaviors in order to develop a proof of concept for their idea, validated by at least one client, and present their project to a Safran jury for selection."
By stepping outside their daily routine, intrapreneurs invest themselves in unusual missions: meeting with suppliers, managing budgets... "We learned to quickly test concepts that I never thought possible in the Group," explains Pierre Alvarez, a participant in the program. Following the program, his 3D simulation casting project was selected to join Safran's accelerator. With an engineering background, he was able to leverage his knowledge and develop new skills: "I learned to pitch without saying 'in fact' ten times!" he shares with a smile. "The trainers give us confidence with tools to optimize teamwork and demanding yet caring support for our projects. It's an extraordinary opportunity to step back from the daily routine. Intrapreneurship gives us legitimacy for our subject." The certificate issued at the end of the training justifies the employee's intrapreneurial experience and capacity.
This first session was open to nearly 50,000 employees; 12 projects were submitted, seven teams were selected for the program, and two were incubated in the entrepreneurial booster.
Safran started a new intrapreneurship session in July with a new call for projects. The selection of the seven teams that will enter this new season is expected on November 14th.
Opening of the Intrapreneurship Institute
Considering the results and growing professionalization of intrapreneurship, emlyon business school has decided to create the Intrapreneurship Institute. The goal is to train leaders and operational managers in the practices of intrapreneurship until the completion of their project. The cornerstone of the Institute lies in the richness of the "learning community" of intrapreneurs, experts, researchers, and involved managers.
This article was published on October 17, 2019 and updated on April 3, 2023.