Kris Oldland, Editor-in-Chief, Field Service News, talks to author of best-selling book Competitive People Strategy and ex CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation Kevin Green about whether Entrepreneurial organisations have a secret special sauce or whether it is a skill that can be nurtured and developed in house?
Outline the true purpose of your organisation
We have seen a number of companies adapt and pivot in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and an entrepreneurial streak has been evident in the vast majority of those companies that have been at the forefront in doing so.
As other companies who may not have such innovative flair embedded within their ranks look on from the sidelines the question many business leaders are now asking is whether such entrepreneurial leanings can be developed and nurtured or whether they are just essential characteristics and so should be ‘acquired’ for recruitment instead?
“It [entrepreneurialism] is quite often in organisations that are going to turn on a sixpence , they’re going to respond very, very quickly,” Green suggests.
“Quite often it’s about their purpose, he adds “I don’t think Dyson talks about money, they talk about design at it’s principle. If there’s a challenge the country has like building ventilators, then Dyson would automatically step up to the plate because of its purpose.
“I think organisations whose leadership has created that purpose, those who’ve created an agile culture, these are the ones likely to be able to respond quickly to these sorts of external events and challenges…”
“They think ‘actually there is a major challenge here, the country needs an organisation to help design and build new ventilators. We’ve got a lot of expertise that’s right at the heart of what we do.’ So, they were able to step into that space to help. An organisation that’s pretty agile and nimble can come forward and respond and I think they’ve certainly done that.”
It is within this ethos of firmly understanding a companies purpose that Green believes the ability to adapt lies.
“I think organisations whose leadership has created that purpose, those who’ve created an agile culture, these are the ones likely to be able to respond quickly to these sorts of external events and challenges. Whereas if you’re big and lumbering and you’re, you’re very mechanistic, it’s much more difficult to be able to, you know, turn on that sixpence.
“In fact, [these companies are] more like an oil tanker, it takes a long time to change things if you’ve done things the same way for decades and decades and everything’s quite hard wired,” Green adds.
“Leadership has a major role to play in organisational design and culture. If you are three quarters of the way, there already then it enables you to respond to these challenges which are thrown down whereas other organisations will find it much, much more difficult.”
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