Entrepreneurship In the Workplace
What is Entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship comes from the word ‘enterprise’. Enterprise is a broad reference to commercial business for profit; however the word ‘enterprise’ can also be used to define an undertaking, especially one of some scope, complication, and risk. Entrepreneurship embodies innovation, creativity, and risk management. The basis of entrepreneurship is being able to use existing resources to increase profitability by marketing, innovation, or building an entirely new market. There are still new markets to be made; however, the most practical application of entrepreneurship today entails improving the little part of the world we regularly face. Everybody can make a positive influence on their surroundings regardless of the position they are in. True entrepreneurship usually involves risk of some kind. These risks can only be calculated to certain extents. Beyond that, the entrepreneur is on his/her own to make a success of the project by using intellectual, leadership, and creative skills. Entrepreneurs are adept in changing conditions and have the strength to stand in the face of huge odds, sometimes without being able to calculate the risks involved.
In the Workplace
Entrepreneurship takes place in the workplace when responsibility to improve the company and drive it into the future is shared by employees and owners alike. Employees are encouraged to come up with ways to become more profitable with available resources. Obviously the company that truly practices this value is going to have a better chance of weathering downturns than the company that is directed by the opinion of a single person. Doing this directs the broad intellectual power of many people toward a common goal.
In order for a company to achieve the active participation of its employees, a number a factors should be in place. Management needs to nurture innovation by not being critical of new ideas or stifling creativity. Everyone must have a sense of personal responsibility and involvement so that employees feel it is worth their time to come up with money saving and profit-boosting ideas. A performance-based incentive plan will help to encourage people to put forth effort to introduce new ideas.
A company can have a well worded mission statement and a meticulously written business plan, but without real-life implementation of these statements they are meaningless. *What if, after five years, there’s still no employee stock ownership program, and the pay-for-performance plan is a joke. Plus, the “promote from within” policy doesn’t seem to apply to any opening above that of clerk, and everyone has learned that the surest way to get in trouble is to try something new without getting prior approval. Finally, even worse than not seeing rewards for “being entrepreneurial”, it’s become clear that there’s no penalty for the bureaucrats in the company who don’t even try. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to answer the “what if” question. Anyone could figure out that the “being entrepreneurial” value never got off the ground in this company. * It’s important that business owners be able to analyze their true position on these matters; are they really doing what they say they’re doing? At the core of every successful business are the unwritten values of what the business truly believes and acts upon.
Owners and managers need to have a passion for their business. They need to share responsibility and spread out tasks –as well as the credit for them, among co-workers and subordinates. *Keep the pressure up. Don’t shelter your staff from the pressure of their jobs. Train them well, give them the authority they need, and then let them shoulder the responsibility and the pressure. If you’ve chosen well –if you’ve coached well –they will be able to handle it. * Without motivated staff, conditions stale for entrepreneurial development. The company which lacks entrepreneurial values will be unhealthy and continuously blocked by unsatisfied customers. With each of these lost opportunities the competition gains an advantage, however small it may seem at the time. This has the ultimate effect of driving down market share and overall profitability of the non-entrepreneurial company.
Challenges are important for a company to keep motivated and happy employees. People thrive under fresh challenges. A company which does not provide challenges and adequate compensation for its employees is like collective farming in a socialistic government; it almost always causes squandering of resources and results in starvation of people.
A company must constantly be updating and revitalizing itself to stay competitive. Entrepreneurship is one way to do this, but it will not happen without effort. It is the constant challenge of improvement and development of different areas of the enterprise that will result in satisfied customers and a profitable company. The personal benefits of entrepreneurship are satisfaction and the sense of accomplishment that come from developing a business that will profit -not only the management team, but the community and society around it as well.
Farrell, Larry C. The entrepreneurial age: awakening the spirit of enterprise in people, companies, and countries. New York, NY: Allsworth Press, 2001.
Komisarjevsky, Chris & Reina. Peanut Butter and Jelly Management. New York, NY: AMACOM, a division of American Management Association, 2000.
Sobel, Russel S. “Entrepreneurship.” Library of Economics and Liberty. 13 October 2008
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. “enterprise definition.” 2003. The Free Dictionary. 16 October 2008
Total Word Count: 906