In our capacity as PR consultants, my colleagues and I spend a lot of time working on communication and business development strategies alongside Senior Management teams. As such, we are fortunate to see the inner workings of a range of businesses, the methods they use to drive their development and how they engage their workforce in helping them to achieve their goals.
In one such meeting recently (whilst actually talking about the positive effect of entrepreneurship) it struck me that in many corporate setups, ‘entrepreneurship’ was seen as a dirty word – it represented those who wanted to think and act alone and if acknowledged, could lead to them abandoning the organisation in favour of exploring their own path.
Far from being seen as a drawback in a member of staff, I firmly believe that entrepreneurial flair should be celebrated, supported and harnessed for the good of the business as a whole, in much the same way as you would treat a star player in a sports team.
Entrepreneurs are by nature, hardwired to spot opportunities and figure out how they might be exploited. In general terms, these opportunities will fall into one of two categories:
- A completely new concept or idea for the market
- An existing idea that can be improved upon
Either way, if you have people out there looking for such opportunities on your behalf, you are going to be in a strong position as a company. Whether creating new concepts or identifying current ideas that can be improved upon, you will find yourself innovating on every level and in turn, naturally staying ahead of your competition.
Another myth regarding entrepreneurial people is that they are loners and only trust their own judgement in any given situation. In actual fact, the art in effectively seizing and running with an opportunity is often to know where to bring people in on an idea and who to bring in that will fill skill gaps and add the most value. Richard Branson and Lord Alan Sugar are just two of the high profile entrepreneurs that frequently acknowledge the large part that their advisors play in the success of their diverse portfolio of ventures. It is these very skills that tend to make an entrepreneur a natural leader; which can be a rare and valuable commodity in a corporate environment!
With our support, many of our clients are now opening up the lines of communication in all directions, actively engaging their staff through workshops and working groups and embracing their range of personalities for the good of their company as a whole.
Of course entrepreneurs can occasionally be selfish, stubborn and frustrating if they are not challenged, but just like that star player in your sports team, if managed well and kept motivated, they can provide that X factor that can be the difference between a good business and a great business. Entrepreneurship is certainly something that we encourage at GD PR & Media, both on our behalf and on the behalf of our clients!