Someone with the ability and willingness to introduce new products or services, that sell,
to a market where those products or services where previously either unavailable or not
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
Risk taker that can live with uncertainty
Adaptable to change and able to improvise
Can see how new innovations satisfy a market
Interested in effectiveness rather than efficiency
Either creative him/herself or able to utilise those who are
Has a desire to lead in his/her area of operation or market
A continuos learner willing to make and or tolerate mistakes
Flexible, willing to change direction as the circumstances dictate
Self possessed of a sense of urgency and stimulates that sense in others
Recognises his/her shortcomings and empowers others who compensate
Most opportunities for entrepreneurial activity come from fast changing industries
particularly where technological change is having a major impact.
Some examples of both fast and slow changing industries are:
Fast food chains
Car rental firms
Electrical product retailing
Real estate sales
Computers & Software
Real estate development
The difference between managers and entrepreneurs
manipulate what is, things and information to produce a result that is clearly specifiable
Entrepreneurs try to create what isnt by a lot of guesswork, improvisation and
learning from mistakes. (from Mitch McCrimmon)
Provides an atmosphere that promotes continual experimentation
Tolerant of loose organisational structures and behaviour
Willing to hand over decision making to those with expertise in their field
Helps risk takers and encourages those who fail as much as he/she celebrates those who
Networking is seen as more important that traditional lines of authority
Communication is multi directional and crosses all responsibility levels
Leadership is allowed to change as situation demands in line with expertise required at
Can easily change direction in response to market, technological or political
Constantly interacts with customers, suppliers, colleagues in fact the total
Seeks feedback from all experiences and sources and highly responsive to new
Entrepreneurial Learning vs. Traditional Learning
Traditional or "single loop"
SCANNING, SENSING, PLANNING (THINK)
COMPARISON TO NORMS (DECIDE)
INITIATE ACTION (ACT)
ADJUST (GET FEEDBACK)
SCANNING, SENSING, PLANNING (THINK) and so the process restarts.
Entrepreneurial "DOUBLE LOOP (adjusted)"
SCANNING, SENSING, ACTING (ACT)
REFLECT ON WHAT HAPPENED (FEEDBACK)
COMPARISON TO NORMS (THINK) second loop QUESTION NORMS (THINK)
SCANNING, SENSING, ACTING (ACT) and the process continues
The speed of the process is also critical - faster cycles
All learning takes place outside our comfort zone
Entrepreneurial learning is primarily experiential
Entrepreneurial learning means taking a risk
Learning is severely hampered by our paradigms
The rational model (traditional) expects us to decide if we like a new type of food
without first tasting it
Truth is merely a perspective of reality
Reality is what we need to learn
Decisions need to be reality based not truth driven
What do learning organizations look like?
Management encourages a culture of exploration and risk taking
A market action oriented philosophy drives company leaders and staff
Believes that he only reason a company has to exist is to servo a customer
Hires for all levels from outside the organization
Often use outside consultants to bring a new perspective
Actively promotes job rotation and project teams to develop individuals
Seeks ways to expose staff to new ideas and perspectives
Encourages active networking and collaboration with outsiders
Allows mistakes to be made without recrimination
Openly rewards healthy rule breaking and policy defiance
Individuals knowledge sharing is promoted and rewarded
Practical steps for setting up a learning organization.
Budget, for time, money and man power resources to be allocated to individual and
organisational learning ensure all employees see learning as a hard target
Identify strategic learning areas for your business where new products or product
innovations are likely to yield the quickest and greatest payoff invest most of
youre your resources in these areas
Empower your work force to take risks in the market by decentralising decision making
particularly encourage those in areas of key knowledge
Set up a system of on job training, job rotation through different functions departments
or divisions, provide incentives and support for personal development initiate a PD
(personal development) discussion process
Form learning partnerships with your suppliers, distributors, and customers- set up
feedback mechanisms such as focus groups, R&D joint ventures and customer survey
Have all positions applied for and include outsiders in your recruitment drive only
appoint the best in their field and avoid the all to familiar best of a bad bunch in times
of competence shortages
Benchmark your culture against other entrepreneurial firms seek ways to understand
key success factors for the market leaders in your chosen field of endeavour and study the
Set up a readily accessible knowledge bank and expertise network
Celebrate and recognize attempts to learn by employees who take a market risk and initiate
fast real world feedback mechanisms
NB Adapted from of Mitch McCrimmon Unleash the Entrepreneur Within
The changing role of managers in entrepreneurial organizations
Monitoring and checking work
Prioritising, allocation of
resources and funds and purchase of appropriate services (staff)
The need for more varied
product and service lines and greater levels of specialization and expertise
Delegation of duties
Selection of individuals and
project teams to balance talent and creative output
The trend towards projects
rather than long term jobs
entrepreneurial employees, other people and machines
Sophisticated information and
Often took the role of
Liaison between technical
experts and traditional delivery sections of the organization
Need for interpretation of
what the experts are saying to senior executives charged with responsibility
for overall investment decisions
Adjudicate on customer
Providing resources needed to
compete in the market place
Increased customer demands
for immediate decisions due to competition
Top down performance
appraised against pre set standards
Implementers of PD
discussions and 360 degree analysis of performance
The need for market driven
feedback on performance measurement when preparing for the future rather than navel
gazing over the past
Wielded legitimate power
Empowers others to act
Power has shifted away from
position to knowledge
Fought for assets and
Brokers the bringing together
of diverse internal groups with ideas and external suppliers of resources
The greater market push for
customized products to suite individual needs & wants i.e. Acer computers
Acted as leader
The need for the most
knowledgeable to lead at each stage of a project cycle
for annual plans and allocation of budgets
Strategist needs to
come up with broad directions and implement rolling targets that account for current level
of market knowledge plus put together feasibility studies to capitalize on bottom up
Rapid changes in market
conditions including, competitors, customers, politicians, regulators, environmentalists,
unions, consumer groups and the general public. Opportunities in modern market can be
Managing entrepreneurial teams
Train members on how to disagree constructively
Seek methods of getting honest points of view (perhaps anonymously)
Encourage all to contribute and reward dissention and diversity
Abandon the concept of a good team player
De-politicise meeting roles and ensure roles are not aligned to hierarchical status
Counteract any herd instinct of were all in this
Encourage leadership changes to the current expert as the needed arises
Starting a business!
Before you start a business you should know some fundamental truths regarding
what it means to you and your family.
If you own your own business it will mean you will be at work 24 hours a day
seven days a week.
You will, at some time in your businesss development stage, put at risk your entire
accumulated wealth, including your home and personal belongings.
To be successful family and friends will need to take second place in your life.
You and you alone will need to bear ultimate responsibility for those who depend on the
success of your enterprise.
The three most dangerous people you will ever meet in business are accountants, lawyers
Most people would make more per hour if they worked for somebody else.
Few people go into business to get rich, it is more often a need to be self determining or
as a lifestyle choice.
The place to start, preparing a business plan
This document will not tell you what will really happen in your business but it is a good
place to start. The old saying plans are nothing but planning is everything alludes to the
fact that you should at least go through the thinking process even if only to set a
direction and consider some of the pertinent issues that may effect your business.
A business plan should address three major issues,
The mission or vision -
why am I doing this?
The plan, goals, objectives, strategies, actions how will
I do this?
The financial data what will this
The need for vision
What is Vision
foresight, good judgement in planning..."
The Little Oxford Dictionary
What is a Vision Statement
If you dont know where your going youll never get there.
If you know where you are going you can get there
The vision statement is a powerful communications device, one that will make the
implementation proceed much more effectively. The vision statement tells your people where
youre going where the company is headed
From, World Class Production & Inventory Management
Darryl V. Landvater
Visions need to be developed by leaders
A leaders vision must be shared
with the team & the team must support it
Sharing leads to
agreement on direction
Vision to be successful must be comprehensive and detailed
Visions must be positive challenging and worth the effort
Vision is never expressed in financial numbers
From "The Power of Vision" (Video)
Goals or Targets
Organizational goals can be thought of as articulated visions & values i.e., the goal
statement to increase our market share by 6 percent in the next twelve months
implies that attaining growth is both valuable & desirable. The goal to
develop and publicise a six new service centres by Oct. 1 similarly may imply a
value placed on expansion. Goals, are operational statements of underlying visions
of the future tempered by corporate values.
Objectives are goals that have been made more specific. For example, the goal to
improve the order-processing system may generate several objectives such as in
the next quarter, to reduce the data-processing time on an average order by thirty
seconds, or perhaps, introduce more effective customer ordering system buy the 30th of
June. Another example might be, for the goal of increasing market share, to take
over the corner shop down the road or increase the sales staff ratio from 1:1
to 2: 1 over the next x months.
Strategies are sub groups of objectives that define overall methods by which the
particular objective is to be reached. If the mission or vision is (to use a military
analogy) to liberate the hostages and the goal is to mount a successful rescue the
objectives could then be, limit rescue force casualties, get out all hostages alive and
minimise political damage caused. Strategies for objective one could be, gather
intelligence, maintain secrecy by limiting those in the know, use helicopters,
do it at night and use a small well rehearsed team.
Actions are the area where most business plans fail, both in the writing and in the
implementation. Other than actually needing to do something, which is obvious but often
neglected, action statements must be supported buy a time element, a success measurement
and of course a person to take the responsibility for the task.
Issues to be addressed in the plan.
Market profile, can be gut feel or formal market research
Economic profile, local government statistics can support your market profile
Trading profile, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, transport
Competitor profile, try to get copies of annual reports, stock exchange reports, trade
publications, press releases, price lists and advertisements
Customer profile, demographics, age sex income levels socio-economic groups etc
SWOT analysis i.e. strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
Target market, a more specific analysis of primary and secondary most likely buyers from
your customer profile
Marketing plan, such things as advertising, promotions, telephone, mail, direct selling,
trade shows, travelling circus, in store promotions, and letter drops
Competitive advantage, sometimes called the unique selling feature, either
price differentiation - cheaper or product differentiation better or at least
Sales forecast beware, money lenders particularly watch these to judge your credit
worthiness as you progress, prepare at least a worst case and best case scenario, an extra
somewhere in the middle would not hurt
Operational plan, sometimes known as a production plan, discussed in more detail later,
suffice to say at this stage it is more important to worry about selling the product and
getting paid for it at stage of a business
Policies, i.e. powers of the board, chief executive, audited statements, planning method
and cycle, employment opportunities and morel or ethical constraints
The financial data
Four types of data need to be prepared and maintained
Annual Budgets your best guess of what might happen or what you hope will
Forecasts or Rolling Budgets what recent experience and latest information tells
you is more likely to happen
Actual to Budget what really happened
Set of accounts an accountants version of what happened based on a
universally accepted set of reporting rules
Budgets are most effective when they are cash flow budgets because cash is the life blood
of all business, non cash items, such as depreciation or future tax benefits are best left
Fighting our past indoctrination!
Truly entrepreneurial people need to be open to new ideas and ways of looking at the
A thought, for the thoughtful!...
or quick test of your ability to see things differently.
Do you agree wit the following statements?
A narrow perspective on reality developed as a result of the accident of the place and
time of our birth, reinforced by those who seek an ally to support and perpetuate their
own version of the truth.
Faith in a set of learnt truths formed as a result of our indoctrination by
the influential when we are to young to resist.
A subjective point of view regarding the worth of our attitudes and the worth and
perceived attitudes of those we view or interact with, based on our own narrow
Personal opinion governing rules of behaviour we think we can get away with when dealing
with others from whom we are taking, or to whom we are giving, in the interests of our
The selfish desire, inherent in all of us, to satisfy ourselves.
A set of behavioural rules developed over time by those with little or no understanding of
their existence, perpetuated by the intellectually inept in an attempt to maintain their
narrow perspective on reality.
The act of disobeying the will of powerful.
Rules developed by the most persuasive individuals in and attempt to ensure personal
safety whilst giving credence to their own truths.
The act of getting caught pandering to your own desires at anothers cost.
Rules of human engagement set up buy the powerful in case they become weak and sold to the
gullible as the will of a superior authority (often called god).
A mythical perspective on realty implying 360-degree vision imposed by the powerful to
legalise the demise of those acting on a different truth.
Business success depends on two distinct and inherently different issues, those of
efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency is concerned with product and service delivery,
quality improvement and cost control, while effectiveness is more concerned with
opportunity recognition, knowledge acquisition and creativity. This dilemma is often
expressed as the difference between doing things better Vs doing better
To understand the conflict better the following table should provide some insights:
Hierarchy or matrix
Amorphous or self managed
Political, technical, central
Defined and documented
Inward and up
Outward and 360 deg.
STAFF VALUED FOR
Loyalty, conformity, systems
Cut costs & raise sales
Develop new products and
Hold or improve market
Create new markets or
Production, financial control
R&D and S&M
Broad, frequent and
Exceptions and bottom line
Authority & referent
Knowledge & competence
EFFECT OF CHANGE
Fear and resistance
Seen as providing opportunity
Measured against pre-defined
Results, new ideas and
(Gareth Morgan, Images of Organizations)
If you see organizations as machines organisational theory will be
limited to a form of engineering preoccupied with relationships between goals, structures
and efficiencies. The resultant approach is to expect organizations to operate in a
routine, efficient, reliable and predictable manner. This is a very inward stance, which
ignores the external influences and the nature of human beings.
Viewing organizations as
allows us to consider issues of survival,
organization environment, relations and
Organizations can also be viewed as brains. As such
can be characterised as information processing systems and or a holographic system.
With this perspective we see the total 'image' is stored in each part of the
image, much as the image of the pond and its ripples can be seen in the individual drops
of water created when a pebble is thrown into a pond.
Challenges for an entrepreneurial manager
As traditional manager you are expected to
control inputs and encouraged to reward those who learn and posses the best process
skills. Functional responsibilities are to control the people, oversee organization roles
and ensure the correct skills are applied to the task at hand.
As an entrepreneur you need to manage outputs, reward achievement, develop market-focussed
competencies (knowledge and skills applied to the task at hand) and develop and lead an
appropriate value system.
Also in contrast you need to develop a creative outlook on what is to be done in response
to and as a result of interacting with a fast changing environment. You must be very
conscious of the effect of your paradigms on how you see things an overcome the need for
stability and a reliance on systems. An ability and willingness to follow hunches is
essential for an entrepreneurial manager.
To develop and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in others you must encourage them to
seek feedback on their performance from their external customers. This tends to come hard
to those more use to seeking acceptance from organization members interested in systems,
and delivery issues (often, senior management). One way to expose staff to experiential
learning (learning by doing) is to get them involved in cross-functional project teams.
Performance can then be assessed on team customer satisfaction levels rather than
comparison to some pre determined performance management system. In addition
non-managerial, professional career schemes will need to be available to ensure a
motivating future with appropriate rewards can be envisaged.
Leadership of an entrepreneurial organization is
different to leadership in a traditional hierarchy.
Top down (role based)
Bottom up (act based)
Based on positional Authority
Based on knowledge
Transactional (constant processes)
Transformational (direction changes, process changes)
Company Goal/target/objective oriented
Customer needs and wants oriented
Close to the management power base (organization's
Close to the customer power base (at the edge of the
Given to those most able to maintain the status quo
Taken by those comfortable in new areas of risk
Knowing the system (e.g. jargon)
Short term & shifting
Abdication of personal responsibility by followers
(theory X prevails)