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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Your staff have the answer - we’ll help them uncover it

This opinion piece is over 5 years old

Steve McCreadie of the Lens is looking to develop intrapreneurship within a new group of medium sized charities

Are you harnessing the potential ideas and innovations of your front-line staff? Do you even know what their ideas are? Now's your chance to work with an organisation that will help you do just that.

The Lens is launching a call for new partners for our third Shared Intrapreneurship Programme, supported by the William Grant Foundation and Scottish Government. There are up to six places available on the programme for medium sized charities. We’re looking for innovative organisations to get in touch to talk to us about the difference intrapraneurship can make in the delivery of their mission.

Our collaborations with leading charities and local authorities prove what investing in people and ideas produces results. Groundbreaking new services are created, innovation skills are developed, and future leaders identified.

We know that there is a wealth of ideas in our organisations but some of the best – those from frontline staff – are hard to uncover. The Lens shines a spotlight on these ideas and enables staff to articulate their vision. We do this through a range of workshops and other engagements that gets them ready to pitch for up to £20,000 of investment.

Steve McCreadie
Steve McCreadie

Lisa Stanoulis and Gail Richmond from Beatson Cancer Charity know first-hand the difference intrapreneurship can make. They won investment for their idea that focused on the wellbeing of cancer patients through the use of music and relaxation.

With their investment they offered MP3 players loaded with relaxing music and a meditation session for patients to use whilst in hospital. Their idea has supported individuals through their cancer treatment and the feedback evidences the impact it has had.

The Lens offers investment, not a grant, so our intrapreneurs are enabled to develop and prototype their idea with the money they receive. Further support is also provided through the Lens Accelerator Programme which is focused on scaling and growing ideas across their organisation and beyond.

However, we aren’t just about uncovering great ideas. We believe that, for organisations to leverage intrapreneurship to help them deliver their mission, we also have to develop and invest in people. That’s why we measure our success against five innovation skills demonstrated by people in the most innovative organisations.

The most recent Shared Intrapreneurship Programme saw Action on Alcohol and Drugs, Beatson Cancer Charity, and CLAN Cancer Care participate. The staff from those charities reported a 39% increase in these skills.

There is a great deal of untapped talent within our organisations, the Lens helps you find people with great ideas who are future leaders. By developing their confidence and skills we have seen many take on more responsibility and move to more senior roles.

We’re proud of our collaborations with innovative, mission-driven organisations and the success of our programmes. We are also excited to be delivering in organisations such as Alzheimer Scotland, Cornerstone, CHAS, Renfrewshire and Stirling Council alongside our Shared Intrapreneurship Programme Partners.

The life changing impact intrapreneurs across Scotland are making is inspiring. Our purpose is to improve people’s lives through intrapreneurship. If you are interested in joining us on that journey and participating in our Shared Intrapreneurship Programme, the programme launches in January 2019 and this round will close to new applicants on 30th November.

If you would like to be involved please get in touch by emailing me at [email protected].

Steve McCreadie is chief executive of The Lens