The rise of the ‘intrapreneur’ – the new UQ course embedding long-term innovation

21 Jan 2019

In a fast-paced business landscape shaped by digital disruption, innovation is what makes the world go round. Progressive business models such as Airbnb celebrate innovation as the backbone of their success, while Google credits an innovative mindset for continually adapting to market needs. But how do you sustain innovation in your organisation?

The University of Queensland (UQ) Business School provides the answer, by partnering with global learning platform edX to launch the online course – Creating and Sustaining an Innovation Culture. The course aims to champion ‘intrapreneurs’, by moving beyond innovation as a once-off event – such as a new product or business model, to instead teach actionable strategies for embedding and scaling innovation into organisational culture. 

Martie-Louise Verreynne, a Professor of Innovation at The University of Queensland Business School and course leader says many people think of innovation as a light bulb moment, or, on the other side of the continuum, regular operational changes. In reality, Professor Verreynne believes innovation needs both creative ideas and capable execution.

“Innovation helps organisations create and sustain high levels of performance and competitive advantage.

“An innovation culture means that innovation is deeply ingrained in how we work and act, not something that we do on an ad hoc basis. It should be encouraged, supported and rewarded by leaders.”

An innovation culture helps future-proof and grow businesses into new markets, test new ideas and encourage collaboration. However, one of the biggest barriers to implementing a sustainable innovation culture is often internal according to Professor Verreynne.

“Organisational barriers are often the biggest roadblock to implementing an innovation culture,” says Professor Verreynne.

“Common problems such as misdirected reward and evaluations systems, overly hierarchical structures with narrow spans of control, policies and procedures that lead to long and complex approval cycles and unrealistic performance criteria prevent intrapreneurs from introducing new ideas.”

The new course addresses organisational pain points by looking at the components required to build innovation as a capability, innovation resourcing and capacity, how to manage organisational change and ensuring innovation is value-based.

Enrolment for the 10-week online course is free and open now to enrol at the edX website.

For more information or media: Professor Martie-Louise Verreynne, 7 334 68160 or Emma Pryor, UQ Business School Communications,, +61 7 3346 4506