An advantage of this value is that it is an easy value to communicate and to remember. Entrepreneurship is something that most people have a positive idea about.
One of the disadvantages of entrepreneurship as a corporate value is that its meaning is ambiguous; what does it mean exactly and what does it mean in the context of the organization?
Some examples of what entrepreneurship could mean, includes at least:
– taking initiative. This is what both the entrepreneur does and what is also applicable for employees in organizations
– freedom. The freedom to do what you think is the best
– act on opportunities rather than on plans and existing initiatives
– taking risks. Act without knowing exactly what will be the outcome
– achieve something
– envision a future
– take a lead and motivate others with optimism to follow…
The question now is why does some company choose entrepreneurship as a corporate value? What is going on and what is the value for?
Some examples from the market show that different companies focus on a side of entrepreneurship:
Entrepreneurship & Innovation: We believe in “doing different things, and doing them differently”. We understand & thrive on the need to carve out a niche for ourselves. We value an entrepreneurship oriented culture and it is very important that we continually innovate in whatever we think, do and deliver to our customers. All employees are encouraged to keep a constructive and optimistic mindset to work towards solution. (1)
In this example the company stresses most of all innovation together with initiatives to foster and generate new niche-solutions.
We understand what drives our clients’ business and we create innovative solutions tailored to their specific needs. We apply the best practices of our firm for our clients around the world.
As colleagues we are entrepreneurial as we apply the collective knowledge and full capabilities of our organization to create profitable growth through new business opportunities. (2)
In these examples the meaning of entrepreneurship is harder to grasp. The use of “best practices,” seems to contradict entrepreneurship. A best practice is something that has worked before. Entrepreneurship is where a new solution is not automatically accepted but may result in a big success. There is a chance in entrepreneurship.
Another disadvantage of entrepreneurship is its influence with the organization. Ask someone who implements this value what will happen to the remuneration structure. Will a bonus be part of the entrepreneurial culture? Will people receive commission on achievements? This is what makes it hard to implement.
A corporate value must fit an organization and it must be credible. In this case the chances are high that the term “entrepreneurship” is not more than a slogan, which will have limited impact on the culture of the organization.
(1) – www.kpitcummins.com/corporate/corporate_values.htm
(2) – Arcadis
© 2008 Hans Bool
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