Definition of enterpriship

Enterpriship is the process of building enterprises with sustainable advantage within a framework of three related disciplines: entrepreneurship, leadership, and management. It is about the competencies of individuals and the capabilities of enterprises. Sustainable means being able to continue over time, either by developing, enhancing, or maintaining the current state, or by changing it. Advantage means favorable, superior, and beneficial.

Every individual who starts, owns, or is a member of the management team of an enterprise, should strive to build sustainable advantage. Sustainable advantage is essential to value creation because cash flows become predictable and reliable over long periods of time. As a consequence, it is easier to plan for investments in new endeavors and to maintain contingency reserves for downturns.

Building sustainable advantage requires proficiency in the disciplines of entrepreneurship, leadership, and management. Collectively, these three disciplines embrace “enterpriship.”

Enterpriship is both an art and a science. Art is an occupation that requires both knowledge and skills; science is method for systematizing knowledge. Through both knowledge and skills, enterpriship provides a systematized approach to building sustainable enterprises by employing the techniques of entrepreneurship, leadership, and management.

Entrepreneurship is a competency for starting, developing, and assuming risk for an enterprise. Leadership is a competency for aspiring, inspiring, and motivating others. Management is a competency for directing and controlling events and activities – management as a “team” has the authority and responsibility for the enterprise.

Being proficient in all three competencies requires experience. Entrepreneurs may lack the leadership and management competencies, leaders may lack entrepreneurial and management competencies, and managers may lack the entrepreneurial and leadership competencies to build a sustainable enterprise.

Upwardly mobile entrepreneurs have to demonstrate to investors that they can build large markets. Lifestyle business enterprise owners, such as dry cleaners, hairdressers, professional service providers, restauranteurs, and retailers, are responsible for everything in their businesses. Executives and managers in larger enterprises are under constant pressure from investors to generate quality earnings on an ongoing basis.

The enterprise depends upon the use of all three enterpriship competencies as do the employees, customers, suppliers and investors.

When entrepreneurs start enterprises, they tend to focus on the benefits and features of their products and/or services. Intrapreneurs, who are agents of change in established enterprises, tend to do the same thing. However, focusing on products and/or services alone is insufficient for building sustainable advantage over time.

Without people there is nothing in business. Processes must be effective and efficient at delivering quality products and/or services conveniently. If an enterprise can’t deliver, a competitor will.

Hence, the management team collectively must be proficient in entrepreneurial, leadership, and managerial roles that dictate successful people-oriented, process-oriented, and product and/or service capabilities.

The entrepreneurial role is both process-oriented and product-oriented, through which innovative ideas are transformed into value at every stage of an enterprise’s development.

The leadership role is people-oriented, through which direction is set that others will follow to achieve results – equally applicable to top-level executives, team leaders within functions, or anywhere in between.

The managerial role is process-oriented, through which resources (time, materials, and supplies) are applied to activities to achieve results.

These three roles embrace the planning and policy development, deployment and execution, and performance measurement activities of the enterprise. Deployment means positioning the resources of the enterprise in the best markets for its products and/or services. Execution means getting things done through people and processes effectively and efficiently.

Unless the management team employs these three enterpriship competencies collectively to address people, process, and product and/or service capabilities, the enterprise will be unable to build sustainable advantage over time, and will ultimately decline, and maybe fail.

If the management team can systematize building sustainable advantage through the effective and efficient use of people and processes, then there is more time to spend on developing the benefits and features of products and/or services. Enterpriship provides the approach.

 

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The enterprise on stage – performing in the service theater

Enterprises that offer service-oriented products, such as in the financial services, hospitality, and transportation industries, are very dependent upon their service cultures to shape their identities to gain competitive advantage. However, the quality of service delivery is a factor also for product-oriented enterprises, including restaurants and retailers. Both product-oriented and service-oriented enterprises owe much of their reputation to the manner in which the employees on the front line present themselves in person and on the phone. Behaviors such as acknowledging customers by name, smiles, and expressions of gratitude can make a difference.

Some service enterprises are intentionally designed with a cultural theme in mind, such as ethnic bars, cafes, and restaurants. If so, they had better stick with it, otherwise customers will feel out of place. However, all enterprises that deliver service-oriented products, and those where quality of service delivery is a differentiator for products, develop a service culture over time that impacts their reputation.

A place of business is a service theater – the enterprise is on stage and in the public view at all times such that the:

  • Stage is the customer service area

  • Employees are the actors

  • Customers are the audience

  • Suppliers provide the costumes and props

  • Press and social networking websites provide the reviews

  • Management is both producer and director

Management must establish service quality standards and enforce them through the use of mystery shoppers and surveys. Customer confidence, trust, and loyalty increase when employees are perceived as:

  • Caring

  • Clean and well-groomed

  • Competent

  • Courteous

  • Helpful

  • Polite

  • Reliable

  • Responsive

  • Welcoming

The concept a service theater does not just apply to physical locations – call centers are service theaters too. How service representatives behave on the phone affects the customers’ perception of the enterprise. Customers can hear smiles, and will be attentive to “please” and “thank you” statements. When customer service centers are outsourced, service quality standards of the provider must be established in line with those of the enterprise, or better.

For all of the efforts to advertise and promote the enterprise and its products and/or services, the moments of truth are when the customer first:

  • Meets the employee on the front line, either in person or on the phone, and service is delivered

  • Uses the product and/or service

First impressions count.

Management must recognize that all employees must take breaks and relax from time-to-time. However, when traffic slows and it’s time to lean, it’s also time to clean. The most important indicator of service quality to customers is the condition of the bathrooms in the enterprise’s facilities – their condition is a key indicator of the gap between stated and enacted values, and the resulting culture.

With the advent of “web 2.0″ and the trend towards posting customer experiences on social networking and other websites, enterprises have to be more concerned about how they are perceived than just from reviews in the press. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing.

Performing in the service theater is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.

Hiring Employees For Cafes and Restaurants

- Three Key Questions

Employers in cafes and restaurants have to address service, safety and security issues in an environment where there is high potential for theft. Therefore, it is important to ask situational based questions to prospective employees that will determine how they will perform in emergencies.

I owned a European-style gourmet cafe and catering business for many years, where service levels, and safety and security considerations were extremely important to me.

I had a steady stream of job applicants, some with prior experience, and some without. It was important to me to learn how candidates would perform in emergency situations, because I knew that everything else could be learned from routine procedures.

The interview began with me asking the candidate to give a one minute overview of themselves, so to become comfortable talking. Then the interview would really start. The candidates came prepared for questions about their prior jobs. They were somewhat surprised that I asked three questions about the future only, and not the past.

Question 1:

“The cafe is moderately busy on the inside and you are behind the cash register. All of a sudden, one of the customers collapses. What would you do?”

The essence of this question is to determine how the candidate would handle a medical emergency. I would expect them to:

  • Examine the seriousness of the situation immediately, and call for medical assistance if in doubt

  • Ask if there is a doctor on the premises or near by

  • Ask the customer what help they need if they are conscious

  • Provide bandages if the customer is wounded

  • Avoid moving the customer if they are unconscious

  • Ensure that others keep away from the scene so as to give the customer privacy

  • Understand the dangers of giving unqualified first-aid

Question 2:

“The cafe is moderately busy on the inside and you are behind the cash register. All of a sudden, you detect smoke. What would you do?”

The essence of this question is to determine how the candidate would handle a potential crisis, and apply quick judgment. If there is only a small amount of smoke, then I would expect them to determine if they can put the fire out right away. If there is a large amount of smoke, then I would expect them to evacuate the cafe immediately, and call the fire service. I would expect them to address:

  • The cause of the smoke, and the extent to which it is controllable or uncontrollable

  • Under what circumstances should the cafe be evacuated or not

  • When to call the fire service

  • How to use the fire extinguisher

  • How to take care of concerned customers

Question 3:

“The cafe is moderately busy on the inside and you are behind the cash register. All of a sudden, someone walks right up to you and asks for the money in the register. What would you do?”

If the candidate didn’t answer with “give them the money,” or something to that effect right away, then it didn’t matter what their answers were to the first two questions. Also, it didn’t matter how otherwise desirable they may be – they were not hired.

In some cases I was asked if the perpetrator had a gun or a knife, to which I told them that they wouldn’t necessarily know. Asking that question automatically eliminated the candidate. I was concerned that in a live situation they would hesitate before acting, making the perpetrator nervous and unpredictable.

I passed on some otherwise good candidates who could not answer these questions to my satisfaction. However, when considering the liabilities of a restauranteur, safety and security are paramount – dead employees and customers are not good for business.

When hiring employees it is useful to understand their individual competencies and personal style characteristics, in addition to your own.

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Three secrets to becoming a successful entrepreneur

There are many secrets to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Three of the most significant are a demonstrated and infectious passion, a focused mission and vision, and relentless execution.

 
1. A demonstrated and infectious passion 

If an entrepreneur does not demonstrate passion about their venture, it is unlikely that anybody else will. It is important that an entrepreneur demonstrates their passion in such a way that it rubs off on co-founders, employees, customers, suppliers, investors, and the community-at-large. In turn, these constituencies should become loyal to and promote the venture if the entrepreneur’s passion really is infectious. A good test of an entrepreneur’s passion is when competitors start to emerge. Where feasible, the entrepreneur must be using the product and/or service for their own purpose, and must never be seen with a competitor’s, except to demonstrate superiority of their own.

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2. A focused mission and vision

It is important that an entrepreneur focus on well articulated mission and vision statements for their enterprise, and communicate them clearly. A mission is both an aspirational and an inspirational statement of purpose, supported by a set of high-level objectives, that address core competencies. A vision is an inspirational statement of a future state (reasonably achievable) within the context of a longer-term aspiration (dream). Vision statements may have two components: external and internal. An external vision is a statement of what a community (local-to-global) can become as a consequence of the enterprise’s activities, and the products and/or services that it offers. An internal vision is a statement of what the enterprise itself can become to its constituencies.

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3. Relentless execution

Entrepreneurship is about causing change – causing customers to switch products and/or services, or use something that they have never used before. Causing change requires the art of persuasion, and the ability to relentless deliver quality products and/services (almost) flawlessly.

However, before new products and/or services can be delivered, an infrastructure has to be in place to produce and deliver them, which may require considerable financial and human capital to develop, enhance, and maintain.


Building infrastructure requires both project management and team building disciplines, as does the development of customer products and/or services. Thus, the entrepreneur is faced with building an enterprise that has both project-oriented and and process-oriented disciplines for ongoing product and/or service delivery. Building the enterprise requires being able to identify the appropriate talent for various tasks, and building a team because together everyone achieves more
.

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The notions of Individualpreneurship and enterpriship have been developed by The Business Leadership Development Corporation.
The notions are promoted by its affiliate, TechKnowPartners, LLC.

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Association, opportunity, incentives, and fear – how leadership and sales disciplines are related

Both the leadership and sales disciplines are about persuading people through influence. Leaders establish direction for others to follow; salespeople persuade prospects to buy. Leaders promote their aspirations to followers; salespeople set directions for prospects to follow. Leaders and salespeople use both imagery and language that convey association, opportunity, incentives, and fear to drive momentum and urgency.

Leaders have to motivate themselves first, relying on their own instincts, sometimes in uncertain conditions, whereas followers have leaders to inspire them. Using their best influence, leaders establish an environment that enables followers to motivate themselves. However, followers can be leaders too if they can inspire others to achieve results.

When tasks are assigned, leaders have to assess both the competencies and commitment of followers, and qualify them accordingly. If a follower is competent, but not committed, the quality of their work may be substandard. So a leader has to influence the follower to commit to the task so as to achieve quality results.

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For all the effort that enterprises expend in research and development, operations, and business development, the costs and expenses are only recovered and profits earned if salespeople close sales to move products and/or services to customers.

Salespeople have to motivate themselves first in order to create an environment that influences others to buy. It can be an uncomfortable feeling to make a cold call, or to promote a new product for which there is no track record. However, salespeople have to meet new prospects and promote new products and/or services on an ongoing basis to keep their pipelines flowing.

Salespeople have to qualify their prospects in terms of authority, desire, and resources to buy – if a prospect is not qualified, the only answer is “no.”

An individual is “casually motivated” when they act regardless of the efforts of others.

To establish an environment that motivates others towards the desired result, leaders and salespeople have to understand the difference between what people need and what they want.

Whereas the needs of individuals tend to be rational, the wants tend to be emotional. For example, a person may need food, but wants a banquet; may need shelter, but wants a mansion; and may need a job, but wants to be boss.

When needs and wants don’t align, influencing people to act through their emotions helps as savvy advertisers know. Using images and words to raise the emotions of followers and prospects can turn a boring task or product into something exciting and compelling. Even the packaging of everyday products can create an emotional spark through the use of images and words that create momentum and urgency.

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However, if a person isn’t in the mood or is in a state of denial, then they may not want to act, even though they need to.

A mood is less intense than an emotional state, and is less likely to be influenced by an event or situation.

Denial means that an individual believes a certain condition to be true or false when facts and other information suggest otherwise. Believing that there is a market for their products and/or services, entrepreneurs, executives, and lifestyle business enterprise owners can be in a state of denial when the behavior of prospects suggests otherwise – it’s a function of how long they can withstand the pain. However leading salespeople make markets for products and/or services even when they are playing against the odds. If a person is really self-motivated to make a difference, they will keep trying, even in the face of failure.

Leaders and salespeople use four drivers based upon wants to influence others to achieve results or buy: association, opportunity to gain, incentive, and fear of loss.

Association:

Followers or prospects want to associate with a respected or well sought team or buyer group because they share the same values, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs:

  • Becoming a member of a highly visible team, appointed by top management, and consisting of the perceived “up-and-comers” of the enterprise
  • Becoming a member of an elite country club or similar group
  • Acquiring products and/or services used by celebrities, such as cars, clothes, electronic gadgets, and gourmet food and beverages
  • Acquiring “designer label” products and/or services because they are perceived as stylish and in-vogue

Opportunity to gain:

Followers or prospects want to take advantage of an opportunity for either tangible or intangible benefits:

  • Obtaining a job position through which higher compensation can be earned
  • Obtaining a job position through which new knowledge, skills, and experiences can be gained
  • Acquiring a product and/or service through which new knowledge and skills can be learned
  • Acquiring real estate in a neighborhood where property values are appreciating quickly

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Incentives:

Followers or prospects want to receive rewards and recognition:

  • Receiving additional compensation such as higher salary, bonuses, and commissions
  • Receiving awards and citations at “town hall” meetings or in the media
  • Receiving discounts or bonus points, such as frequent flyer miles
  • Receiving invitations to special events not open to all employees or the general public

Fear of loss:

Followers or prospects fear losing their “want” – the ability to associate, take advantage of an opportunity, or receive an incentive:

  • Perceiving that time, space, or inventory are running out, such as for events, trips or products and/or services
  • Perceiving that someone less qualified will get the offer or incentive
  • Knowing that they are not qualified for the offer, but the leader or salesperson is ignoring that fact, enabling them to have something that they otherwise would not be entitled to
  • Knowing that they are not qualified for the “advertised” offer, but the leader or salesperson is offering something which is more achievable or affordable, such as a less demanding position or a less sophisticated product and/or service, without creating an embarrassing situation

***

Successful leaders and salespeople know how to use imagery and language to influence others through momentum and urgency; the alternative is force.

 

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The notions of Individualpreneurship and enterpriship have been developed by The Business Leadership Development Corporation.
The notions are promoted by its affiliate, TechKnowPartners, LLC.

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Building and maintaining team motivation and momentum

Leaders communicate aspirational and inspirational messages that influence others to motivate themselves. However, to get things done through others, leaders must also build and maintain momentum over time.

Leaders first motivate themselves, and then establish an environment that enables others to motivate themselves too. Leaders can be self-starters, appointed, or emergent.

The members of a self-managed team work together to achieve a mission and vision based upon direction from a higher authority. The team establishes its mission, vision, objectives, and goals as a sub-set of those of the enterprise. There may be little to no room for negotiation on what the overall goals are, but only the terms by which they are achieved. However, without the ability to shape mission, vision, objectives, and interim goals, the self-managed team can resort to becoming a group of individual contributors. A self-directed team is both self-managed and establishes its own direction almost exclusively. Leaders may emerge from both self-managed and self-directed teams.

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It is essential that teams operate within the context of the values, mission, and values of the enterprise, otherwise organizational silos can result.

A “leader-managed” team serves under an appointed leader who can be either power-centric or empowering. In either case, the relationship between the leader and team members is initially directive. The leader establishes the objectives and goals for the team. However an empowering leader has the intention of delegating to a self-managed, and subsequently a self-directed team over time, whereas a power-centric leader does not.

Both power-centric and empowering leaders should welcome team members, assess their readiness for tasks in terms of commitment and competence, assign tasks by balancing the competencies between individuals, and provide the necessary resources. Training programs may be required to prepare team members for tasks and advancement.

Power-centric leaders use rewards and punishments, and may micro manage. Micro managers may take credit for themselves, and prevent others from advancing. Empowering leaders build and maintain both motivation and momentum to gain results, from which others can advance over time.

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Momentum is built by maintaining the ingredients for self motivation – positive attitude, ambition, confidence, commitment, and self assessment. Self assessment involves determining the aptitude, qualifications, ability, proficiency, and experience for tasks and future opportunities.

Momentum is maintained by identifying positive role models that team members can aspire to; overcoming obstacles, resolving conflict, giving feedback on a timely basis; and recognizing and rewarding accomplishments. Leaders cannot expect team members to duplicate success without reward and recognition. However, once momentum is built, it is easier to migrate from one task to the next.

Giving feedback is accomplished through guidance from mentoring and coaching. Mentoring addresses the personal and professional competencies of each team member – intra (self) and inter-personal skills, and functional knowledge and technical skills. Coaching addresses the enterpriship competencies that enable team members to assume entrepreneurial, leadership, and managerial roles with increased levels of responsibility in the future as they become empowered. In effect mentoring is about understanding what the rules are and why, and coaching is about how the rules are applied.

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Whereas empowering leaders initially assess the readiness of team members for tasks, momentum is achieved by enabling team members to assess themselves, and make adjustments from mentoring and coaching accordingly. As such, the relationship becomes supportive as the leader delegates to the team members, first as self-managed, and then later as self-directed. Empowered team members are also able to assume leadership roles elsewhere in the enterprise as they advance.

Empowerment is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.

 

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The notions of Individualpreneurship and enterpriship have been developed by The Business Leadership Development Corporation.
The notions are promoted by its affiliate, TechKnowPartners, LLC.

Subscribe to the Enterpriship mailing list for information on entrepreneurship, leadership, and management of business and not-for-profit enterprises
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Self motivation – leaders can’t lead without it

Unless forced, an individual can only motivate themselves to do something well. Self motivation is about developing enthusiasm for an idea, ideal, or task, and then moving to action. Self-starters are inspired by their own passion. Leaders motivate themselves first, and then create aspirational and inspirational messages that influence others to motivate themselves to follow.

Entrepreneurs and emergent leaders develop passions for ideas, ideals, or tasks that give them the enthusiasm to “go for it” even when others criticize, object, resist, or ignore an opportunity or threat. A self-starter takes the initiative and the risk to transform their ideas or ideals into results that benefit others. All leaders have to rely upon their own instincts and establish an environment that motivates others; sometimes in lonely and uncertain conditions. They must influence others to motivate themselves who, in turn may become leaders in their own right.

Self motivation has five ingredients: positive attitude, ambition, confidence, commitment, and self assessment.

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Positive attitude:

Attitude reflects an individual’s positive or negative state of mind towards an event, activity, condition, item or another individual. Attitude affects actions; it is easy to be negative and think of barriers, obstacles, and failure. Whereas contingency plans should always be considered to prevent or recover from negative outcomes, it is better to think of what is possible than what isn’t. Attitude can be changed through persuasion; favorable results and success stem from positives attitudes. Hence, it is important to examine the benefits of the situation or proposition, and think in terms of how the best results can be achieved effectively and efficiently.

Ambition:

Ambition is the basis of motivation for achieving status, power, and results. Ambition requires an aspiration (ideal or dream) – a mission and a vision, and self-esteem – the belief in oneself to achieve a positive result.

Confidence:

Confidence is the level of certainty that a hypothesis regarding an intended action or outcome is correct. With respect to accomplishing the intended outcome, confidence is the level of certainty that the related people, processes, and products and/or services are capable. Self-confidence is belief in one’s own capabilities. Confidence is the basis for motivation for action.

Commitment:

Commitment is the pledge to an aspiration and creates the obligation to engage and remain in activities that realize it.

Self assessment:

Self assessment is the willingness to understand one’s own strengths and weaknesses so as to undertake a specific role and associated responsibility. The consequence is taking advantage of strengths, improving weaknesses, or compensating for them by engaging others.

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The criteria for self assessment include: aptitude, qualifications, ability, proficiency, and experience:

  • Aptitude – suitability for a role
  • Qualifications – standard conditions or requirements to perform the role and accept the responsibility
  • Ability – expected quality of performance
  • Proficiency – level of competencies (knowledge and skills)
  • Experience – application of competencies (or lack thereof) to actual situations, with the related learning

Competence includes:

  • Personal – intra (self) and inter (relationships with others) – oral and written communications, and appearance
  • Professional and technical
  • Enterpriship – entrepreneurship, leadership, and management

***

Leaders cannot attract followers unless they are self-motivated; they can manage but they cannot lead.

The ability to self-motivate is an enterpriship competency.

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Striving for excellence through high performance teams

The sustainable enterprise strives to achieve performance excellence by doing the right things, and by doing them well. By delegating responsibility for managing projects and perpetual processes, creating ideas, and problem solving to high performance teams, management can focus on overall planning and policy development and performance measurement activities. As such, management can address doing the right things, and high performance teams can address doing them well by making decisions close to the front line. By establishing a feedback loop, high performance teams can contribute to the future direction of the enterprise. Together the enterprise achieves more.

Teams are formed or emerge to address specific issues by leveraging the differing competencies and experience of their members for a common purpose. Teams are either formed by a higher authority or emerge based upon need.
The basic ingredients for teamwork include:

  • Establishing shared values, vision, mission, objectives, and goals consistent with enterprise values, mission, and vision
  • Operating according to a set of guiding principles
  • Providing an opportunity for shared learning
  • Encouraging “out of the box” thinking
  • Being mutually accountable

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Teams migrate through four phases of connection:

  • Formation – determining the purpose and rules
  • Divergence – defending current positions based upon differing backgrounds
  • Convergence – accepting differing points of view
  • Association – committing jointly to the purpose, rules, and results

A “leader-managed” team serves under an appointed leader who establishes the objectives and goals. An empowering leader enables the team to become self-managed, and potentially self-directed over time.

Self-managed teams work together based upon direction from the leader-manager or another higher authority. Cross-functional teams operate across organizational units (functions and business units). Although it is hard to achieve in practice, in theory the entire enterprise is a cross-functional team.

Self-directed teams are self-managed and establish their own direction almost exclusively. Team leaders may emerge from both self-managed and self-directed teams.

Self-directed teams are formed in two ways – either because they were commissioned by a higher authority, or because of a breakdown in leadership causing a void. When commissioned, responsibility has been delegated by a higher authority because the team members have commitment, competence, and momentum, and have earned the opportunity to be empowered. However, with empowerment comes accountability to the higher authority and the enterprise.

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Higher authorities act as servant leaders to self-directed teams by collaborating with them. As servant leaders, they ensure that the team is equipped to get tasks completed by having the necessary resources to operate, but not standing in their way. Servant leader collaboration does not preclude the existence of a leader within the team itself. Servant leadership is an aspect of stewardship because all participants share the values and vision of the enterprise.

High performance teams are both cross-functional and self-directed, and are focused on the improvement of people, process, and product and/or service capabilities. Higher order synergistic effects will kick-in when representatives from the legal, finance, human resources, information technology, research and development, operations, and business development functions are brought together for a common purpose.

For example, involving service personnel in design and manufacturing processes can impact how best to maintain and repair products. Involving salespeople in design processes ensures that customers’ wants and needs are considered when enhancing existing or developing new products. Involving legal and human resources personnel in manufacturing processes ensures compliance with labor laws and regulations.

Operating within the context of existing plans, policies, and performance measures, high performance teams take the pressure off of management to find methods for doing things well, and provide a feedback loop to future plans. High performance teams innovate, solve problems, and execute operational processes with high standards for effectiveness of the results, and for the team itself.

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Areas of focus of high performance teams include:

  • Reducing time-to-market
  • Reducing cycle time
  • Increasing productivity and efficiency
  • Reducing production costs and operating expenses including selling, research and development, and administrative

The standards for behavior include the basic ingredients for teamwork and:

  • Following rigorous problem solving approaches that include: understanding the situation, what complicates it, framing the problem statement, pursuing alternative solutions based upon anticipated and probable outcomes, and making recommendations based upon commitment, ease of deployment, effectiveness of execution, and achievement of performance excellence
  • Encouraging lively debate that includes the views of both internal and external constituents, encourages varying opinions and points of view, respects diversity, and avoids criticism and personal attacks
  • Addressing strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats, especially to pursue under exploited opportunity, to reduce overengineered solutions, and to leverage core competencies
  • Making fact-based decisions, but not necessary inferred from facts if experience and judgment suggest otherwise
  • Exceeding expectations

By enabling high performance teams to work close to the front line, management can focus on the overall direction of the enterprise. Morale improves because decisions are made by those who are directly involved.

Establishing high performance teams is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.

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The Case For Teamwork – Together Everyone Achieves More

Every enterprise comprises individuals who are assigned to one or more groups. A group becomes a team when the individuals within it share common purpose. Whereas a group comprises independent contributors, a team comprises interdependent contributors. Results can emerge from teams that are broader and deeper than those from the individual members to the benefit of the enterprise and its constituencies.

 

When organizational units form within an enterprise, the individuals within them become members of one or more groups. Groups form around common work, further organized by shifts and geographical proximity. Common work is determined primarily by function, such as finance, information technology, operations, marketing, and sales.

Groups are loosely coupled because they are heavily dependent upon individual contribution. The work is defined by job descriptions (either oral or written) that list the tasks that must be performed. Each member may perform the same tasks, or a subset of all of the tasks that collectively produce the output from the group. Each member is accountable to a supervisor for their work, who is in turn accountable for the work of the entire group to a higher authority. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that the work accomplished by each member, and the group as a whole, meets quality, efficiency, and productivity standards. Camaraderie within and between groups results primarily from personal relationships among the members.

Groups tend to behave in “silos” when there is no motivation for them to work together. Silos are so named because they have distinct vertical structures that stand alone from others. Silos operate to the agendas of the supervisors, which may not necessarily be aligned with those of the enterprise. Communications may be fragmented both within and between silos.

Teams are tightly coupled, which means that the members work together coherently. Whereas the roles and responsibilities of the members may differ, teamwork requires mutual accountability. The members recognize that to get work accomplished successfully, they benefit from the synergistic effects of sharing and building on knowledge, skills, and experience. As a team, the members collectively achieve results that would not be possible individually within budget and schedule constraints.

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If management acts as a team, then they will foster an environment for teamwork both within and between organizational units. When management is not behaving as a team, silos are more likely to emerge.

Teams are formed by a higher authority to manage projects and perpetual processes, to create ideas, and to solve problems. However, teams may emerge based upon need despite the behavior of management. This is because individuals believe in responsibility and accountability to enterprise, its constituencies, and themselves. Teams can be either permanent or temporary, formal or informal, broad or narrow, and within one function or cross-functional. An individual can be a member of one or more teams.

Members must share the values, mission, and vision for the enterprise within which they establish the values, mission, vision, objectives, and goals for the team itself in an environment of shared learning. If an individual member does not share the team’s purpose, they cannot be committed to its success, and will ultimately either drop out or be pushed out.

Teamwork offers potential for broader and deeper ideas and solutions than those of individual contributors because of the opportunity to leverage diverse backgrounds. The greater the diversity of the team, the greater the breadth and depth of results. Weaknesses in the knowledge, skills, and experience in one member may be offset by those of others. The tighter the fit between the team members collectively and constituent beneficiaries, the more valuable the results are likely to be.

It is important for a team to have a set of guiding principles from which all points of view can be heard and discussed. Without such principles, there is a danger that the majority of team may miss a minority point of view that represents “out-of-the-box” thinking or experience that makes a difference. If the minority point of view is accepted after debate, it can be developed by the interdependent members collectively into something greater that meets or exceeds the wants, needs and expectations of the constituents.

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It is the higher order effects of teamwork, through leverage and debate, that create synergistic solutions beyond the reach of the individual members. As a consequence, the team members benefit by learning from each other as opposed to purely from their supervisors alone. Hence, the enterprise and its constituencies benefit collectively and individually – together everyone achieves more.

Teamwork is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.

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Two Levels of Leadership – “Big Picture” and “Task”

Leaders set direction that others follow at two levels: “big picture” – the macro level, and “task” – the micro level. At the macro level, they enact transformational change in either the external or internal environment of the enterprise, or both. At the micro level, they build relationships with followers for accomplishing specific tasks. Through both roles, the potential exists for new leaders to emerge.

The leadership role is performed at two related levels: macro and micro. The macro role can influence many individuals and is about what the enterprise can become. The leader starts with a vision of the future environment in which the enterprise will operate, or how it will be internally – the “big picture.”  The micro role is more directive and supportive, and is about accomplishing tasks through followers within the context of the big picture. The micro role is relationship-based. Whether at the macro or micro level, it is important that leaders convey clear statements of direction so that followers know what to expect and what is expected.

Macro leadership:

The macro leadership level is transformational – influencing results from followers, as either individuals or in teams, by changing their aspirations, wants and needs, objectives and goals. It affirms shared values, mission, vision, and learning.

Visions have external and internal components. The external component is what a community (local-to-global) can become as a consequence of the enterprise’s activities, and the products and/or services that it offers. The internal component describes what the enterprise itself can become to its employee, customer, supplier, and investor constituencies. “Being the best place to work,” “being the easiest company to do business with,” and “excellence through common purpose” are representative internal visions.

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If transformational leaders are successful, then the change is noticeable to constituents-at-large. Transformational change should be significant, if not dramatic, as the enterprise positions itself within communities and builds relationships with constituencies. However, it is not just the environment that changes. Both the leader and the followers change in themselves as a consequence of the transformational experience. Once the objectives and goals are achieved, followers are better equipped to enact change in the future. The leader can move on to new opportunities, delegating the leadership role to a follower going forward, and enabling others to assume equivalent roles elsewhere.

The macro leadership role is strategic in nature because it affects the position and posture of the enterprise as a whole, and influences groups of its constituents. However, the leader must perform in the micro leadership role also, even as a leader of leaders, because transformational change can only be achieved through task accomplishment.

Micro leadership:

The micro leadership level is transactional: an event or situation that involves a leader and a follower. The leader builds a relationship with the follower to accomplish specific tasks. The follower can be a member of a team or an individual contributor.

Transactional leaders are either power-centric or empowering. Power-centric leaders use a command and control oriented approach, where results are delivered to order with rewards, or else punishments are inflicted. Although this approach may accomplish objectives and goals, it does not develop new leaders effectively. “Micro managers” tend to over control, resist delegating, and are critical of mistakes made by others.

By contrast, empowering leaders develop successors through a process of migrating from a directive to a supportive style based upon the commitment and competencies of followers, and their confidence.

The relationship starts in a similar fashion to a power-centric approach, whereby the leader is directive. In this capacity, the leader is command and control oriented, setting objectives and goals, and delivering instructions as to how the task should be performed.

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Although they may be committed, the follower may have doubts about their competencies, which can affect their confidence. If their doubts continue, their commitment may be impacted negatively. It is the responsibility of the leader to access the commitment, competencies, and consequently the confidence of the follower, and adjust the relationship accordingly. If the follower is less competent or confident, then the leader remains directive; if the follower is more competent and confident, the leader becomes supportive. As such, the follower gains more control of the relationship. As the follower learns from their experiences, their competencies grow, and hence their confidence grows, and thus their commitment is restored positively.

Eventually the follower gains sufficient experience to where the responsibility is fully delegated with confidence from the leader. Thus, the follower sets their objectives and goals, and is accountable to the leader for their performance.

If the follower loses commitment because they do not have the aptitude, then they may be better off pursuing opportunities elsewhere.

Micro leadership is tactical in nature because it addresses the behavior of a follower and their tasks. However, as the follower develops experience, they are equipped to assume more responsibility.

***

An enterprise cannot grow and continue to move forward unless it develops future leaders.

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Macro and micro leadership are enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competencies.

 

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Principles of Self Management – Strengthening Anticipation, Deliberation, and Stress Tolerance

Entrepreneurs and leaders must first motivate themselves if they are to establish an environment that motivates others. However, being motivated also means applying the discipline of self management to strengthen personal, professional, and enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competencies. As such, entrepreneurs and leaders become role models.

Self management is an underlying discipline that applies the techniques of the managerial role (planning, organizing, executing, measuring, evaluating, and adjusting) to personal activities. Hence, the personal competencies of anticipation, deliberation, and stress tolerance improve. As a consequence, an individual’s ability to perform personal, professional and enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) activities strengthens. Thus, an individual becomes a role model for an effective and efficient work style to others.

The scope of the self management discipline includes prioritization, time management, space management, resource management, follow-through, and stress management. It also means living by a set of personal values and guiding principles.

Prioritization:

Prioritization is about managing activities based upon value. The simplest method is to apply the Pareto principle (eighty percent of benefit comes from twenty percent of the effort). However, the principle should be applied twice so as to address the top four percent of the activities first that account for approximately 64 percent of the benefit.

The method is applied by creating a list of activities and then assigning priorities as A, B, and C items – A having the highest priority, B having medium priority, and C having the lowest priority based upon contribution to value. The A items should account for no more than twenty percent of the entire list, and the C items should account for no less than ten. The principle should then be applied again to the A items as AA, AB, and AC. The AA items account for about four percent of the entire list.

The list should be visible, reviewed, and updated on a regular basis. Attention must be given to resolving AA items, and the eliminating of as many C items as possible.

New items will be added to the list from time to time, and the list should be recreated from scratch as necessary. Old C items usually drop off in this process.

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Time management:

Time management is an extension of the prioritization technique, but relates to the scheduling of activities. Time frames can differ depending upon the types of activities and value, and can range from minutes to years. Time management begins with how an individual lays out their own schedule, and how they interact with others.

The key is to determine the time frame for each activity, and layout schedules in blocks of time with slots. The activities should be listed and prioritized, and then assigned to the slots. Schedule contingency should be allowed for by assigning up to 85 percent of the available slots. That way, if there are overruns, or if unanticipated events occur, there is some room within the schedule to accommodate extra activities. Priorities should be reviewed regularly.

An individual should be careful about communicating with others with a different time perception. For example, strategic planners think long-term, but production staff tend to think short-term. An information technology strategy may take five years to implement, but the response times of resulting systems may be have to occur within seconds, or fractions of seconds for process control systems.

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Space management:

Space management is about arranging physical layouts ranging from desktops to entire communities. It begins with how an individual lays out their own workspace, and how they interact with others. Space management is based upon communications needs and workflows between related parties.

The further parties are located from each other, the less they are motivated to communicate, especially if they are on different time zones. Crises are the exception, and actually force parties to communicate. Effective globalization requires establishing strong communications capabilities between the various parties around the world.

In urban areas, it is usually necessary to densely pack people, equipment, and inventory into small facilities. Some individuals are bothered by the close proximity of people and objects around them, and the potential for background noise, whereas others are not. Music can be used to reduce distractions from background noise, and create ambiance.

An individual should be careful about communicating with others with a different space perception. For example, strategic planners think globally, but others may think locally. An electronic product design may require large drawings that represent components that are fractions of millimeters apart.

The Chinese practice of feng shui is becoming more popular in the West. Definitions vary, but in general the practice relates to organizing environments and the objects within them, such as facilities and equipment, to promote balance, happiness, harmony, health, and prosperity.

Resource management:

Resource management is about consuming materials, supplies, and services effectively and efficiently. It begins with how an individual consumes resources, and how they influence others to do so.

Resource management is about setting budgets for resource consumption, and then monitoring the earned value – the budgeted cost of the resource consumed to date. Negative variances result from an insufficient budget or waste; positive variances result from an overly generous budget or conservation.

If time is the resource, then waste results from inefficiency, and conservation results from efficiency. Both productivity and efficiency determine if results are delivered ahead or behind schedule. Productivity is the rate at which units are produced within a time period; efficiency is the ratio of the work performed to the effort applied, and is the difference between the budgeted cost of work performed and the actual cost. Parkinson’s law states that work expands to absorb the available time.

 

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Follow-through:

Follow-through is about carrying an activity through to its natural completion. It is easier to start an activity than it is to complete it successfully. Natural completion includes determining the consequence of an event or activity once it has occurred by getting feedback on results. It includes both quantitative and qualitative information.

How an individual asks for feedback on their own performance determines what they expect from others. Follow-through starts with an individual assessing their own performance, and then asking for feedback from others. Perceptions regarding an individual’s own performance will differ from that of others. Ultimately, it’s the feedback from others that matters.

Follow-through is achieved by asking questions of constituencies, either directly or indirectly through surveys, in addition to whatever quantitative data is available about actual behavior.

Follow-through is also essential to prospecting activities. If effort is expended to identifying those people with whom to build relationships, then it is essential to follow-through to find what mutual opportunities and benefits actually exist. Follow-through is extremely important when proposals are issued. If a salesperson doesn’t follow-through on a proposal, can a prospective client or customer expect them to follow-through on the account itself? Prospective clients and customers are notorious for not following-through to deliver results to unsuccessful bidders. Therefore, bidders should always follow-through to find out status, criteria, and reasons for both acceptance and rejection, so that they can improve in the future.

Stress management:

Stress is human body’s response to demands made on it. It is the response to pressures from responsibility, to both real and imaginary threats from people, and to fear of potential negative events and activities. Stress arises when an individual moves beyond their comfort zone – their boundary for risk tolerance, especially when situations appear out of control.

Positive stress has a facilitating effect on activity; negative stress has a debilitating effect. Negative stress must be overcome otherwise illnesses can develop. Individuals who are self-motivated challenge the debilitating effects of stress by moving to action.

Stress reduction techniques include:

  • Exercising and relaxing
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Getting a good night’s sleep
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs
  • Involving a support system, such as family or teammates

By applying the techniques of planning, organizing, executing, measuring, evaluating, and adjusting, an individual translates mindset into action and becomes self-motivated.

Personal values and guiding principles:

Personal values and guiding principles form a system of beliefs that set expectations for individual behavior and decision making that can be applied to personal, professional, and enterpriship activities.

***

An individual’s attention self management is a determinant of their suitability for advancement. If an individual can’t manage their own affairs well, then how can they be expected to manage someone else’s?

Entrepreneurs, lifestyle enterprise owners, executives, and managers must balance both long-term and short-term mindset with action to ensure that important items get done on a timely basis, without losing focus on the future.

Self management is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.

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The notions of Individualpreneurship and enterpriship have been developed by The Business Leadership Development Corporation.
The notions are promoted by its affiliate, TechKnowPartners, LLC.

Subscribe to the Enterpriship mailing list for information on entrepreneurship, leadership, and management of business and not-for-profit enterprises
We never share email addresses