Intrapreneurs - Fostering Change from the Inside Out

By Kevin Wilhelmsen Dean, University of Phoenix School of Business | October 09, 2016

Many of today's largest and most successful companies started as nothing more than an idea, backed by a person brave enough to take the leap and follow a dream.

Often companies have no further to look than their own workforces to find innovators who will push them forward. They are called "intrapreneurs," and despite their impact on business and culture, managers often struggle to identify and grow these passionate individuals who are hard-working and filled with ideas that could drive positive change.

Intrapreneurs are can-do, take-charge innovators who focus on strengthening the organizations for which they work. They are change makers who offer revolutionary approaches. They are the edgy counterparts to entrepreneurs who are likely to push through a bold, fresh idea internally that completely dismantles the "strategic" plan – and pushes the company forward to new heights.

Google's Gmail and Starbuck's Frappacinno are two of the most widely known examples of products that are the result of intrapreneurs. But intrapreneurs are not just creators of buzzworthy consumer products, they are also employees who find new ways to create efficiencies, improve processes, identify new revenue streams or find better ways to engage customers.

From enhancing online booking, innovating check-in/check-out policies, revamping loyalty programs, enriching guest service, improving social engagement and influencing customer preference, the hotel industry is ripe with opportunities for intrapreneurship. The nature of today's technological advances within the industry alone should compel leaders to think outside the box on hiring and employee retention strategies. This can help ensure the organization has the right human capital to not only keep up with the latest industry developments, but also the talent to anticipate and introduce them first.

Creating an Intrapreneurial Culture

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.