Supporting NHS providers to create an innovation culture

Intrapreneur Programme

Intrapreneur Programme in summary:
A four-month journey of creative learning and doing - a powerful human-centred approach to solving challenges for patients;
Aimed at executives and fellows (health professionals and managers) - this programme takes a deliberate and systematic organisation-wide approach;
Five intensive action-oriented workshops to push your thinking, interspersed with project work in your Trust, supported by on-site coaching;
Working alongside other highly motivated, multi-disciplinary teams from a range of healthcare settings to build a powerful community that trades practical learning and proven approaches;
A programme that develops a powerful set of behaviours to accelerate intrapreneurial problem solving within your Trust.

What is the Intrapreneur Programme?

We are working in partnership with thought leaders WhatIf! Innovation to deliver the Intrapreneur Programme – a programme aimed at supporting both executive and frontline staff in NHS provider trusts to adopt and scale innovation in their everyday roles.

The purpose of the programme is to enable providers to build capability and capacity to address their challenges through the adoption of innovation with a strong focus on scouting for existing best practices and adapting solutions to their environment.

It achieves this by supporting participants to:

  • Be clear about their innovation ambition;
  • Understand the key elements of an innovation ecosystem;
  • Unlock and mobilise the capability of their staff to source solutions.

The key elements of the programme are:

  • Problem exploration and definition
  • Insight gathering and distilling opportunities
  • Scouting for best practices and solutions
  • Adapting solutions to fit
  • Rapid testing cycles to build and iterate

It is an active learning programme of five intensive action-oriented workshops to push your thinking, interspersed with project work in your Trust, supported by on-site coaching.

If you believe you have a challenge worth solving, are ready to learn from industry pioneers and have the motivation to succeed in a tough environment then read on!

Who is it for?

The Intrapreneur Programme is aimed at executives and fellows (health professionals and managers), taking a deliberate and systematic organisation-wide approach. It is designed for executives who are seeking to create a culture of innovation in their organisation with project teams who are pioneering radical new ways of working to improve patient care whilst saving money.

Each intrapreneur cohort comprises four to six small multi-disciplinary teams of 1-2 executive directors, a challenge owner and a team of 3 to 4 fellows.

In summary:

  • Maximum of 24 people for each intrapreneur cohort
  • Optimal number of 3 – 4 people per project team
  • Each team must have at least one executive and a challenge owner
  • Ideally the programme would support two project teams per trust to provide greater comparison for learning.

How does the programme work?

There are three main phases to the intrapreneur programme:

  1. Workshop with executives and directors to help them articulate their innovation ambition, identify the levers needed to achieve it, and zoom in on one challenge that needs solving;
  2. Support for the right ‘owner’ of the problem to scope it in more detail and put the right team together to crack it;
  3. High-cadence “Learning and Doing” journey with challenge teams.

The Intrapreneur journey


How will it benefit participants?

The programme focuses on building a powerful set of behaviours that accelerate intrapreneurial problem-solving. It may feel different to other programmes as the programme:

  • Is action-oriented – trying things out is more important than getting them right;
  • Is focused on finding the right sized wheel for your problem, not inventing a new one;
  • Prioritises small scale experiments to ‘piloting’ and ‘rolling out’;
  • Deliberately uses the internal grapevine to build envy and spread the word.

Here is what participants of previous cohorts had to say:

“We’re getting positive buy-in for the project from consultants and executives”
“Wonderful to see the team taking the opportunity to make change happen”
“A great outcome despite the pitfalls along the way”
“It’s given me confidence to challenge services and my own practice to try and really make a difference”.

The Intrapreneur Programme gets results…

Impact Intrap

Dates in 2017

Cohort three of the Intrapreneur Programme kicks off with sessions at each participating Trust between 3 and 10 May and runs through to September. It will comprise off-site workshops and on-site coaching at Trust sites. Key dates are as follows:

3 to 10 May 0.5 day session: Defining the innovation ambitionTrust sites
17 May 0.5 day workshop: Challenge Scoping?WhatIf! offices, Marylebone, London
31 May and 1 June1.5 day workshop:
• Building the foundations
• Inspiration plan development
?WhatIf! offices, Marylebone, London
Early JuneInsight immersion- coaching support on-site in trustsTrust sites
21 and 22 June 1.5 day workshop:
• Insight landing & Opportunities
• Solution scouting plan
?WhatIf! offices, Marylebone, London
Late June/ early JulyExecute scouting plan- coaching support on-site in trustsTrust sites
12 July1 day workshop:
• Building concepts - landing and strengthening solutions
• Bounce & build - practice testing your thinking with colleagues
?WhatIf! offices, Marylebone, London
Late JulyBounce and build sessions including coaching support on-site in trustsTrust sites
2 August1 day workshop: Experiment plan development?WhatIf! offices, Marylebone, London
AugustExecute experiment plan – on-site coaching in trustsTrust sites
6 September1 day reflection session (into evening):
Review and share
?WhatIf! offices, Marylebone, London


This programme is at discounted rates for NHS trusts that are members of Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP). For trusts that are not members of ICHP the Intrapreneur Programme is offered at a cost of £2,800 +VAT per participant.

Travel and accommodation costs are not included.

For more information

 If you believe you have a challenge worth solving, are ready to learn from industry pioneers and have the motivation to succeed in a tough environment then we’d love to have a conversation.

Please contact Shirlene Oh, Director of Commerce, Innovation and Capability Building at Imperial College Health Partners.