What makes the entrepreneurial way effective for startups and corporates alike to succeed?
1. Thriving on constraint
Entrepreneurs are frugal with their resources. They ask, 'what value can I create with what I've got now?', rather than create a perfect plan that must be fully funded with all conditions aligned. By digging through and recombining their capabilities, communities, untapped resources, and networks, entrepreneurs get something they can test quickly, even if it’s a different way of creating value to that they first envisaged. They experiment.
2. Rapid experimentation
Innovation is driven through rapid experimentation: understanding needs, testing solutions with prototypes, and iterating. This can be applied to products, to business models, and to internal processes - from HR, to operations, to public policy.
3. Leveraging communities
Entrepreneurs ask how they can maximise their impact in as short a time as possible. They build genuine communities of partners whose particular strengths can be leveraged to do things they cannot themselves do. This strategy applies within an organisation as well.
4. Finding opportunities everywhere - especially by 'breaking' rules
Entrepreneurs continually ask 'why?' and 'why not?'. This is how they spot opportunities others miss. Why does a taxi firm have to own cars? What if a circus had no animals, but instead focused on theatre? Why do banks need to be part of exchanging currency - couldn't we just swap money?
5. Intrepid leaders who 'make a way'
Entrepreneurs commit to an outcome, make it real for those they lead, and take necessary risks to make it happen. They back themselves to get the outcome they want, to ‘make a way’ even if finding one is not clear or easy. Entrepreneurs don’t need a detailed map.
6. Leadership through setting the stage: purpose, culture and authentic values
Entrepreneurial companies understand that the best people are motivated by a shared purpose and direction and by being given the autonomy and support to pursue it. Their leaders focus on creating meaning around purpose, setting norms and expectations. Entrepreneurial leaders enable their people to get on with it, while always being available to coach. They use specially-designed metrics and constant feedback that ensure accountability but avoid prematurely killing or 'raiding' innovations.