Improve entrepreneurial thinking in five steps

In these uncertain times, you need people in your organisation who can both spot opportunities for your business and step up and go for them. This is known as entrepreneurship.

Being entrepreneurial as a leader working in a large organisation might feel tricky, but the benefits are huge. You get people who actively seek opportunities to improve the business, people switched on to what their customers really want, and people who are prepared to step up to the challenge of new ideas. Adaptable, innovative and motivated leaders working for the future of the business. What’s not to like?

We’ve been developing entrepreneurship and underpinning mindsets in large organisations for many years and we have learned a thing or two along the way.

So here, for you, are five steps to help your leaders step up and become more entrepreneurial.

Step One: Clearly articulate your purpose

Making a difference in the world is a core motivator for most people. Do they understand the purpose of the business? More importantly, do they understand how what they do matters to this? Make sure you clearly articulate that core purpose and how your organisations makes people’s lives easier, improves environments, changes how people see the world… If you can help people understand how their role helps deliver this then you will  fire up their desire to make a difference in the world.

Be honest though; If the core purpose of your business is to make money, you probably want people who are motivated by money, so be open about it.

Step Two: Ensure people understand the commercial and strategic elements of business.

Do your leaders understand the figures, the customer’s expectation and strategic environment in which they operate?

This crucial underpinning understanding affects how people think about the work they do. More entrepreneurial leaders think about their department as a business in its own right and are clear why it exists. How can we ask people to make businesslike choices if they don’t understand how the business operates?

Step Three: Give your leaders the autonomy to make changes combined with the freedom to fail.

The ability to fail intelligently is one of the most important parts of innovation and creativity. It’s when things go wrong we learn the most. Fear of blame and judgement will stifle whether people want to try anything new in the future. Entrepreneurship requires testing new things.

You therefore need to give your leaders space to try things and actively seek to make failure a part of the learning process.

Step Four: Ensure the skills and wherewithal to create strong relationships.

Robust, resilient relationships make business work. Do your leaders understand how much impact the quality of their relationships has on the business and on them personally? Entrepreneurship requires influence, it requires taking people with you and it requires the ability to engage others, collaborate and communicate. These are all soft skills that pave the way.

Step Five: Help them challenge the status quo.

We must create the environment for people to feel able to speak up with ideas, concerns, questions and mistakes without fear of punishment or humiliation. We must also lead by example and with some hubris or vulnerability.

Why is this stuff important?

The future we face is uncertain and all businesses are having to adapt to face it. If you want to have leaders who STEP Up and help your business grow and perform into the long term future, you need to focus on these five areas of entrepreneurship.

The next step is making it stick – the crucial part. It’s all very well making this happen in the short term, but the sustainability of it is hugely important too. So here are our steps to helping it stick.

You may like to have a partner; someone that will work with you to help make this happen. That’s where we come in.

We’ll not tell you what to do – because that type of training lies in the past.

We provide support in two ways:

  1. Through long term learning programmes, such as STEP Up. These develop the core skills of your team and put this learning into place in their daily work to challenge mindsets and embed skills.
  2. We provide inhouse yet independent support to work with you into the longer term, helping you with the momentum for change from the inside. You get an internal champion and challenger that knows your business and retains their external independent professionality and checks. This helps to sustain the culture changes into the longer term.

If you’d like to talk about any part of this, we love a good chat. No pressure, honest 🙂

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