Successful entrepreneurs and executives have enterpriship competencies that enable them to know what to do and how to do it repeatedly. They can adapt to situations involving differing products and/or services and people because they have knowledge, skills, and experience in process execution. These competencies enable serial entrepreneurs to systematically transform innovative ideas into value; enable leaders to influence varied groups of followers; and enable managers to apply alternative resources to activities to achieve results. These competencies are characterized by the enterpriship model.
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.
The word “entrepreneur” is derived from French origins meaning to undertake; the word “executive” is derived from the notion of execution of laws and affairs; and the word “manager” is derived from Latin origins meaning to handle with skills.
Successful entrepreneurs, lifestyle business owners, executives, and managers are “principals” that are well sought in business. Whether explicitly or implicitly, they can address what needs to be done and how effectively. In doing so, they resolve the key issues of who, when, and where – and perhaps the most important question of all in business: why?
Whether consciously or unconsciously, these principals apply their principles through models and methodologies to get things done. Their competencies consist of knowledge, skills, and experience acquired from training and on-the-job experience. The models represent forms and patterns for expected outcomes, and the methodologies describe the activities required to achieve them. These principals may also have preferences for certain tools such as systems, and reference and training materials. Collectively, such models, methodologies, and tools form their “credo for success.”
The enterpriship model is the basis for a credo for success. It describes the four activities that guide entrepreneurship, leadership, and management: establishing the mindset, enabling action, building relationships, and establishing order. It is a model through which all other models, methodologies, and tools that transform ideas into results can be enabled.
Establishing the mindset – an entrepreneurial role:
Radio show host Earl Nightingale offered “The Strangest Secret – we become what we think about” as a motivational statement. Results cannot be achieved without establishing a mindset first. The mindset should be future-oriented and holistic. Once established, a future mindset can be rolled back to the present, so that the direction for achievement is clear. The mindset should be based upon understanding and communicating the whole, not just a collection of components. Thus, ideas should be thought through from the “top down” holistically, even though they may be deployed from the “bottom up” in components.
For example, an architect starts with a sketch of an entire edifice, and engineers decompose the design into structural, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing components; the builder constructs it brick by brick. The design work is performed “top-down” and the construction work is performed “bottom-up.”
Enabling action – a leadership role:
Actress Lucille Ball popularized the saying, “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it – the more things you do, the more things you can do.”
Transforming mindset into action requires the self motivation to aspire and inspire others towards motions to get tasks accomplished. It is essential to build momentum with anticipation and deliberation – the forces for organizing events and performing activities.
Both David Brewer, founder of Friends of the Earth, and futurist Frank Feather have suggested the notion of “thinking globally and acting locally.” Once successful results have been achieved locally, the “duplicable principle” of earning value through growth can be applied on a “local-to-global” basis. This approach suggests building momentum step-by-step within the context of a holistic mindset.
Building relationships – leadership and managerial roles:
The notion of building relationships applies to both people and processes. Nothing gets done without people, and ultimately everything gets done for people. Therefore, is important for enterprises to have positive relationships with their employee, customer, supplier, investor, regulator, and competitor constituencies. Understanding personal styles is essential to being able to relate, to build rapport, and to interact with others. Successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and managers know how to balance inter-personal skills with professional skills so as to entertain, inform, convince, and persuade their constituents.
However, in order to deliver products and/services through processes to people, it is essential to define structure. Structure is the enabler of the relationships between an enterprise’s infrastructure, products and/or services, markets, and constituencies. Infrastructure consists of processes, functions, facilities, and equipment.
Establishing order – a managerial role:
Transforming innovation into results is a haphazard process of trial and error to determine what works and what doesn’t. Lessons for success result from the experiences of failure. Whereas ideas may start out with elegance, the pressures of expectations to meet scope, objectives, budget, and schedule often lead to implementations in chaotic circumstances. However, it is usually the response from the marketplace after implementation that determines what really needs to be delivered.
As the environment stabilizes, it is necessary to add structure to unstructured situations, and establish order.
Plans to deploy ideas must include a provision for continuous improvement after implementation to adapt innovative ideas into results that are sustainable. Continuous improvement activities include repositioning in markets with selected products and/or services, restructuring operations, and reengineering processes.
It is important to have a feedback loop from performance measurement to planning activities to ensure that the lessons from the past are considered when preparing for the future. As successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and managers know, history does repeat itself.
The enterpriship model provides the credo for entrepreneurial, leadership, and managerial success because it characterizes the what and how of getting things done: transforming mindset into action with relationships and order.
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