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Intrapreneurs are an invaluable resource to businesses as they can brainstorm new ideas and ways  implement them keeping organizations healthy and relevant well into the future. Employees can do this by innovating on old products, old processes, or even coming up with brand new streams of revenue. In some cases, these intrapreneurial spirits will step forward themselves, but there are some simple tasks that companies can implement that can encourage innovative thinking and ideas amongst their employees.

Because summer months can at times be a little slower, this may be the perfect time for companies to experiment with initiatives that can help to spawn creativity and bring out the intrapreneurial spirit in their staff members. To help get you started, we’ve come up with 3 things your company can try this summer to get your employees thinking more like intrapreneurs.

Hold Casual Events To Encourage Mingling And Allow People’s Minds To Rest

Holding company-wide or departmental special events during the summer can have multiple benefits for both the company and your employees.

The break from work gives employees time to rest their brains. While this may sound counterintuitive to innovation, evidence shows that human brains require breaks to function at higher levels. As well, it has been shown that taking one’s mind off a problem allows it to settle and can lead to breakthroughs as the brain is given time to make natural connections.

In addition to the mind break that events can give your employees, casual events also allow people to naturally interact with those they may not collaborate with on a daily basis. Speaking about projects with people from different departments or that hold different titles around the company can also lead to new and innovative ideas. Different people offer a different perspective than someone who focuses their day on it.

Organize a Hackathon

While great ideas can come naturally through casual interactions, there is also something to be said for providing a structured avenue in which to inspire innovation. Hackathons are a great way of bringing out new ideas. According to McKinsey & Company, “for large organizations in particular, hackathons can be adapted to greatly accelerate the process of […] transformation.” Allowing employees to step out of their normal routine and concentrate solely on thinking of how they can solve problems, just for a day or two, can prove to be quite valuable.

While many people associate hackathons with the developers and engineers of a company, great ideas can come from anywhere, so maintaining a level of accessibility for everyone at Hackathons- regardless of their technical prowess-is always a good idea. According to Harvard Business Review, hackathons don’t need to just be for coders anymore, they can be done by any department and involve everyone, as long as the focus remains on coming up with new ideas to improve business.

Start A Mentorship Program

Mentorship programs can be beneficial for companies and their employees on a number of levels. People may believe that mentorships are meant to train employees and help to set them up for success in the future. But a mentorship program can be a two-way street when done correctly.

When a mentor and a mentee meet, they often discuss work and problems which they are trying to navigate through. When they do this, each person is bringing their own set of fresh eyes to the other’s issues. The generation gap, differences, and varied life experiences allow each of them to offer a new perspective This approach leads to  great  innovation because they will look at each problem from different perspectives, leading to new ways of  solving problems.

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As well, we’re always looking for more intrapreneurs to feature in the journal. If you know one, please nominate them here.