Ever thought about how entrepreneurial-minded your company was? Being entrepreneurial has nothing to do with the size of the organization or the industry you work in. There are easy ways to know if your company is supportive of an entrepreneurial way of operating. Does having an entrepreneurial mindset even matter? Oh, it does. We all like to work differently and have a comfort zone. Think about it. What is your entrepreneurial comfort zone? The following ten descriptions identify the components of an entrepreneurial-minded organization, do any of them sound familiar to you?
10. You do not have a job description for your role. Your job allows you the freedom to explore and and help others with business challenges. Many entrepreneurial companies like Google allow one day a week to work on big or new ideas! At my company, employees have the freedom to think and join projects of interest – no matter what their job “title” is.
9. Your company allows you to give back in the community through volunteerism of your choice. Entrepreneurial companies live, work, play, even worship in the markets they serve and they find a way to give back! Whether its participating in 5Ks, attending charity benefits, or holding donation drives, entrepreneurial-minded companies make sure that they play a part in community service.
8. Your company has a supportive organizational structure and tries to cut the “red tape”. Heavy structure and elaborate policies are designed to create order, however, they can really stifle entrepreneurial activity!
7. You have access to resources. Sounds like an odd one for an entrepreneurial culture where boot-strapping reigns supreme, right? But the right companies know that the proper access to the right tools, resources, and materials can inspire the spark of The Next Big Thing. Or many, many little wins that make the company stronger!
6. You are encouraged to take risks. You feel like you won’t lose your job or be screamed at if you fail. I like to say, Make all of the $9 dollar mistakes you can, limit the $999 ones. But maybe I am wrong in the end. Great entrepreneurial companies have leadership that tolerates failure and learns to thrive on change.
5. Your ideas matter. Your company knows that you might be a little closer to the customer. And that the issues and challenges you face might be hassles in your job, but, if solved might be the key to retaining customers or growing new ones! When it comes to new ideas, your opinion matters.
4. Your company avoids the creation of individual department silos. When business people work together across department, at all levels, and skills sets great things can happen. “No Silos” means one general company goal. Think Steve Jobs and Apple. One measure, one report, one P and L for the whole business!
3. Your company balances risk-taking and innovation with established routines, specialization, and structure and systems that create perceived stability. This is not easy. Too much routine and structure stifles the entrepreneur. Too much entrepreneurial influence ? Well, in my opinion never a bad thing. But, at some point all products and services start to peak in their relevance. New ideas and companies that listen to their customers generate new revenue streams. (Shameless plug, frankly, as they need to be Outside-In®.)
2. You are asked for your opinion. An entrepreneurial company stays this way if it monitors itself. The best way to monitor oneself is to ask employees how they are doing on creating an environment that encourages risk-taking and team work on to improve the business.
1. Senior management is committed to innovation and change. New ideas are encouraged. Risk-taking is often rewarded, even if it bombs. Most importantly, delegation and appropriate authority to pursue entrepreneurial ideas that better the business are handed out liberally!
Sound like your company? If so, leave a comment about your experiences. Is there anything – as an intrapreneur – that you would like to see happen at your company? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!