From idea to reality Two 'Intrapreneurs' on a Mission

This fall, every employee had the opportunity to participate in the company’s annual Innovation Programme. One idea snapped up by the jury and set for pre-study came from Swedish duo Rebecka Carlbergh and Charlotte Haegermark. The idea: what are the conditions for our internal innovators and ‘intrapreneurs’?

Saab has initiated an increased focus on innovation and in different ways investigates how we can improve in the area. One initiative is this pre-study.

 

Normally, Rebecka works as an information engineer and Charlotte works within communication and marketing, both at Combitech, an independent technical consulting company and part of Saab.


“The idea we submitted, an intrapreneur platform, was based on our insights about employee engagement, the future workplace and intrapreneurship. With 83% of the world's tech employees not engaged in their jobs and over 50% considering starting their own business, it made us curious about how we work in Saab with these matters. How we can improve their climate? We don't want to risk losing people, who are often seen as the engine of the company's innovation, development and improvements,” says Rebecka.


“Much is happening in our world; efficiency, automation, digitilisation – shifts which require the ability to think for yourself, be creative, work cross-functionally, analyse and take a holistic view and so on. In order to continue to have dedicated and motivated employees with such skills, we need to understand our employees' drives and motivations. Only then, the power of innovation and the intrapreneurial spirit can come alive,” says Charlotte.


Raise awareness about intrapreneurship

 

The idea was briefly about creating an intrapreneur platform, creating better conditions for intrapreneurs and innovators. The aim is for them to become even more engaged, understood, highlighted and receive resources to realise their ideas, creating value for the company and customers.


“Today, we don't know how established the intrapreneurship concept is at Saab, it's something we want to find out. We want to raise awareness about intrapreneurship and hopefully we'll find the hidden ones who have characteristics as entrepreneurs, and employed by Saab. The tricky part is to find them first of all, often these employees know they have something different, but don't know that they are intrapreneurs and what support they need. Unfortunately they are easily misunderstood in large organisations and we need to understand how their closest environment looks like and how, for example, leadership can be adapted to help them better, says Rebecka.


Idea management at its best


A few weeks ago, the duo was informed that Group Strategy and HR would like to continue researching conditions for innovators and intrapreneurs within Saab.


“Innovation leader Tomas Planstedt, who participated in the Innovation Programme jury, had continuous contact with us, which meant that we felt empowered and appreciated all the time. We really felt their interest and that they wanted to work on our ideas and insights," Charlotte emphasizes.


To this end the duo will receive coaching during the pre-study, and which will research the conditions, opportunities and obstacles for intrapreneurs and innovators in Saab. At the same time, it will analyse trends and monitor changes in society, finally presenting the insights and giving recommendations for the future.


“Hopefully our participation and our idea now being highlighted, can inspire others to believe in their ideas. If you dare to tell others about it, you will get unexpected help in doing great things,” concludes Charlotte.