An -ism Every Successful Company Needs: Entrepreneurism
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to what it takes to build a successful company. However, I believe that entrepreneurism is critical. In the following I’ll explore why entrepreneurism is so essential and how it can help your business thrive.
Entrepreneurism: Combining Creativity and Action
The concept of entrepreneurism is all about coming up with new ideas and solutions.
This thinking combines creativity and action. It's about taking a first principles approach to thinking and through this, being able to innovate as well as act on making the innovations a reality. First principles thinking, in a nutshell, is to think like a scientist by not making any assumptions. Indeed, the first step in embracing the -ism is to take a step back and evaluate your environment.
Entrepreneurism at its core is about creativity and risk-taking. If you're not taking risks, you're not moving forward. However, first principles help aspiring entrepreneurs to set the stage. Don’t rush. Assess, think deeply and only then, act.
Whether your company is big or small, you want to make sure this type of thinking is embedded in your organization. But to foster entrepreneurism, you need an environment where this is possible. Building this type of environment is not easy, but it can pay off big time.
What Entrepreneurism Brings to an Organization
Successful entrepreneurs are willing to take risks. They're not afraid to try new things and fail because they know that failure is necessary for success. This risk-taking behavior is what drives growth in businesses. Without it, companies stagnate and eventually fail.
Companies that encourage entrepreneurial thinking are more likely to take risks and invest in new initiatives. This type of growth is essential for long-term success. On the other hand, companies that don't embrace an entrepreneurial mindset often become stagnant. They're afraid to take risks and invest in new ideas, leading to a decline in sales and revenue.
In today's ever-changing business landscape, it's more important than ever to adapt and grow. Entrepreneurism makes this happen.
Fosters a Culture of Excellence
When you foster an environment of entrepreneurism within your company, it leads to a culture of excellence. Employees who are encouraged to think creatively and learn from their mistakes are more likely to push themselves to achieve their highest potential.
Employees often experience friction between the employer’s expectations of innovative thinking and abiding by company culture and best practices. Every new recruit faces this challenge. Most employees are hired for a role with specific responsibilities as opposed to an empty canvas that the employee must fill with brilliant ideas.
To avoid pigeonholing or limiting employee creativity, a balance must be struck: encourage innovation and even radical ideas within certain parameters that do not pose a threat to the company’s bottom line.
This mode of operational thinking a) allows employees to set high standards for themselves and the business and continuously push the limits without jeopardizing the employee’s future in the company and b) helps the employer mitigate risks.
As a result, the company is more likely to produce innovative products and services that exceed customer expectations.
Attracts Top Talent
Another critical reason entrepreneurism is essential is it allows companies to attract and retain top talent. A serial entrepreneur is always on the lookout for new opportunities and challenges. Companies that embrace an entrepreneurial mindset are desirable to them.
Serial entrepreneurs bring a wealth of experience and knowledge with them, and are always looking for ways to improve existing systems. While entrepreneurial types are often seen as mavericks or wild risk-takers, they do understand the constraints that come with operating in a business environment that ultimately must serve the stakeholders. This baseline is what, by default, sets certain limits in how entrepreneurs operate.
Every organization needs a mix of personality types in much the same way as it needs different roles that require a range of different skill sets. Instead of being fearful of entrepreneurs taking liberties that may be of concern to the management, the company must find ways to both cultivate and manage its workforce, whether entrepreneurs or career employees.
Talented employees seek challenges and by doing so, present companies they work with a number of growth opportunities. If you want to attract and retain the best talent, it's crucial to create an environment that fosters entrepreneurism.
Builds Strong Teams
Another vital benefit of entrepreneurism is it helps build stronger teams. By encouraging employees to think creatively and try out new ideas, they're more likely to work together towards a common goal.
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This type of thinking fosters collaboration and trust, which is essential for any team to be successful. Building solid teams requires mutual respect and cooperation, and entrepreneurism can help create this kind of environment.
The world is constantly changing, and businesses need to be able to adapt if they want to survive. Those who embrace an entrepreneurial mindset are more likely to be open to change and willing to experiment with new ideas.
Change can be difficult, but those who are open to it will often find that it leads to new opportunities and growth. Those who resist change will often find themselves left behind as the world moves on without them.
Takes Calculated Risks
One of the most critical aspects of entrepreneurism is the willingness to take risks. Of course, not all risks are equal. It's essential to distinguish between a calculated risk and a foolish one. A calculated risk has been thoughtfully considered and has a reasonable chance of success.
A bit of experience comes in handy here. Experienced entrepreneurs know how to identify the risks that are worth taking. They also know how to calculate the risks and rewards associated with each decision they make.
This superpower is an opportunity for the company to initiate mentorship programs within the company in order to instill a culture of learning. Different training modules or internal crash courses can inject much of the entrepreneurial knowledge into the wider workforce.
Remember: even calculated risks can sometimes fail. But those willing to take them are often more likely to find success.
Helps Companies Be Agile
Another critical benefit of entrepreneurism is that it allows companies to be agile. When employees are encouraged to think creatively and not to fear failure, they're more likely to come up with new ideas that can lead to positive changes.
This type of thinking allows businesses to adapt quickly to changes in the market or their industry. Being agile gives firms a competitive advantage and helps them stay ahead of the curve.
It's the Key to Long-Term Success
Last but not least, entrepreneurism is the key to long-term success. Companies that embrace an entrepreneurial mindset are always looking for ways to improve and grow. They're constantly innovating and expanding their products and services. They're never satisfied with the status quo, instead they always are seeking out new opportunities.
This type of thinking leads to a virtuous cycle of innovation and growth, which is essential for any business to succeed. Those who embrace entrepreneurism are more likely to find success in the long run. In contrast, those who resist change and cling to the status quo are more likely to fail.
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Start Baking Entrepreneurship in TodayThese are only a small sampling of the many reasons why entrepreneurism is so essential. If you want your company to be successful, it's critical to foster an environment that encourages entrepreneurship.
About the Author
Pekka is the CEO & Founder of ASTRONAUTIT and the chairman of the Finnish Software and e-Business Association. He is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence in Coventures specializing in corporate venture building.