CBUS: Finding Hidden Gems Through the Intrapreneurship Program

Welcome the innovative company. An organisation that knows how to harness hidden talents, acknowledge top performers, and develop their employees’ potentials. Welcome, Cbus. A company that is on a mission to discover internal talents to partake and contribute in their overall business strategy.


The Challenge

Cbus has a proud history as one of Australia’s first industry funds. They are the leading Industry Super Fund for the building, construction, and allied industries. It was established that given the changing landscape of the superannuation industry and the growth of the Fund, that an innovative, exciting, and fast-paced emerging leaders program is needed to harness the expertise and talents that are already existing within Cbus.


The Process

The Intrapreneurship Program saw the coming together of two results-oriented teams:  Cbus and Naked Ambition. Within their own organisation, Cbus made sure of the participation of candidates, employees across different departments, and most importantly, their executives who would act as sponsors-mentors.

Throughout the creation and design process, Naked Ambition worked closely with Cbus to ensure that there was a clear purpose and outcome for the program, which would align with the overarching organisational business strategy.

Finally, to generate interest, it was also determined that the entry into the program should be both competitive and selective. Potential participants were asked to submit a creative response reasoning why they should be included in the program. They were then asked to self-nominate using creative media, with resulting submissions including the use of video, recipes, and even a built-for-purpose application! After receiving such an overwhelming response, the proposed initial intake of 16 participants was increased to 20.

After an 8-month development period, Cbus and Naked Ambition were able to launch the program with 2 phases that introduced a personal branding module and a design thinking concept. This Intrapreneurship was launched in early 2017 and ran for 14 weeks.

Throughout the entirety of the learning program, each intrapreneur engaged in weekly coaching sessions with Naked Ambition. This included a personal branding module, where coaching was provided to support participants in developing their own personal brand in line with the organisation’s strategic vision.

During the second phase of the program, coaching took place in the form of a workshop check-in, which allowed participants to discuss their progress and how they planned to implement design thinking methods – such as interviewing and research – to meet their business challenges. It was an opportunity for each team to reflect on what was working well and what was not, and to iterate on their approaches.


The Outcome

The Intrapreneurship program provided a unique opportunity for intrapreneurs to work collaboratively on business challenges that were not necessarily a part of their “business as usual” function, increasing cross-departmental collaboration.

The delivery of the program was highly experiential, and participants were exposed to a number of industry expert speakers from across Design, UX, Strategy and Positive Psychology and wellbeing.

Cbus’ Intrapreneurship Program is clearly a success story for all those involved. It opened the lines of communication between teams and senior leaders and provided a wider channel for them to engage and exchange ideas. Executives were also exposed to the available talent that they have onboard meaning employees should be given a fair chance to contribute to formulating solutions and in generating new concepts.

In closing, Intrapreneurship has been instrumental in promoting a collaborative culture in which individuals at all levels are encouraged to think innovatively and to express ideas using a clear and structured approach.


“Today, if you are not meeting your stakeholders’ needs, you simply won’t remain in the game. Digital advancement and consumer desire to engage with organisations when they want to and via the channels that they chose, means we have to be adaptable, agile and innovative. The Intrepreneurship program provided a great learning ground for our emerging leaders to collaboratively tackle problems and come up with creative solutions. We’re encouraging them to continue to put these learnings to use as we embed similar practices into our everyday activities.”

David Atkin, CEO, Cbus