3D Juggling 517: Entrepreneur-ship
Jane and Claire write: 'With the arrival of Hilary Devey as the new Dragon for the 2011 series of Dragon's Den, entrepreneurs are in the headlines again this week. Entrepreneurs are not just millionaires who have spare money to invest as business angels. We regularly meet people in public sector roles and in the church who also share many of these entrepreneurial skills - just not the money to match!
Arthur Ransome's 'Swallows and Amazons' is a story of entrepreneurs. When assessing how risky it was to let her children out on a lake on their own, the mother's response is 'Better drowned than duffers. If not duffers will not drown.' She had confidence in them and that what they had learned in a safer environment would serve them well in their next adventure.
Many of the people we meet are being encouraged to behave like an entrepreneur and to develop new business opportunities. Some don’t really understand what this means or see it as an adventure too far where there is a real risk of drowning. We think that being an entrepreneur - even when someone else is paying your wages - is about using the skills, knowledge and experience which you have already gained to create something new. This might be be:
• spotting opportunities and connections (and investment!)
• developing a new response to a familiar situation or need
• adapting a familiar response to a new situation or need
• a new response to a new situation or need
The last of these is the one that most people find scary. Entrepreneurial practice is learned from experience. The children in Swallows and Amazons took a risk. So did their parents! And it paid off.
Could you be an entrepreneur where you are? Or are you one already - if only you could recognise it? Think about it... '
Way back in 1934 Schumpeter stated that ‘learning in the natural and social world’ is important for entrepreneurs. In 1985 Drucker proposed that ‘recognising and acting on opportunities is an important aspect of entrepreneurial behaviour, which is going beyond the boundaries of what is known and expected, rather than simply replicating something which already exists’.
Entrepreneurial practice is learned from experience. Learning from your experience is an outcome of coaching. Action Learning Sets are an even more cost-effective way to enable learning from and with others. As a coaches and as facilitators of Action Learning we can bring theories and models and stories that will challenge your thinking even further as you develop your skills.
We’re entrepreneurs. Talk to us.