Inc magazine, July 2005, tells a great story of how one UK company, Cambridge Consultants, gets their employees innovating (read it here). They actively encourage their employees to pursue business ideas. They give them time to develop the ideas, and give them mentoring. They help them develop a proposal, which, if accepted by the Board, they also will fund (putting aside a large proportion of turnover to do so). They have a definite time limit on making these new ventures work, and if they don’t the employees are re-integrated into the company and treated as returning heroes. Nice!

From the article sidebar:
Most intrapreneurship efforts fail. Cambridge Consultants bucks the trend by:

  • Investing 10% of its annual revenue in spinoffs
  • Involving all 250 employees in the process
  • Greenlighting just 15% of ideas — and hiring employees back if projects fail
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