Entrepreneurial leaders design and build new growth businesses. These leaders are less likely to have a political agenda. They have an organizational agenda that speaks to the need for the organization to move to a new operating model.
Entrepreneurial leaders know that the old model can get in the way and they are willing to take unpopular positions. They understand the need for change and they are eager to lead that change. Tearing down old systems and rebuilding new ones is part of the job. They are business architects who design and build the entrepreneurial mindset and infrastructure for growth.
These leaders assert a certain amount of independence, but are also loyal to the core business. Their loyalty is divided between the organization and their project. They need a certain degree of independence and autonomy to break through barriers and set up new systems. Over time, their loyalties will shift to the project as new systems are created to support a more entrepreneurial environment. They are often forced to make tough decisions that will test their loyalty to the company. It will come down to doing what is right, versus what is politically correct.
Entrepreneurial leaders understand the strategic significance of their project to the company’s overall goals. They can envision the financial, political, and cultural impact these changes will have on the organization. They know the boundaries of the organization and recognize where they are flexible and where they are not. The project will test the limits of those boundaries. It will be necessary to push those boundaries beyond what is currently thought possible — and accept responsibility for the results.
Entrepreneurial leaders set the tone for the entire project by establishing an operating framework to support their efforts. They create organizational structures that are fluid and changeable. They create new systems and processes to support the end goals. They set new standards for productivity and performance. They reward risk-taking and initiative. They build a new entrepreneurial culture.
As the entrepreneurial leader, you will be designing and building a new infrastructure to support corporate entrepreneurship as you move forward. It is something that evolves over time. The goal will be to leverage the existing systems, policies, and practices of the core business, but that is often easier said than done. You will need to determine which systems, policies, and practices work and which ones don’t. There is no research that describes the best type of operating environment for corporate entrepreneurship.
Your goal will be to transform the way your organization works to more effectively grow the business. You will need to ensure that the right people and processes are in place to accelerate business growth, minimize risks, and increase success rates. You will need to help your organization build the following capabilities.
- Develop the leadership skills needed to operate differently
- Create cross functional collaboration to support new ideas
- Instill program management discipline into operating practices
- Define the operating framework required for success
- Provide the tools, techniques and practices needed to be more effective
- Build execution competencies to increase buy-in and successful implementation
As an entrepreneurial leader these are just a few of the things that you will need to do to build the entrepreneurial mindset and infrastructure in your organization.
Entrepreneurial leaders are business architects that design, build and execute. They are true entrepreneurs in that sense. Although entrepreneurial leaders exhibit a high degree of independence, they are still very loyal employees. They are more entrepreneurial in their behavior. Their affiliation is more aligned with the project than the company. They are committed to their own personal values and those of the team, but they recognize that what they are doing is for the core business.
Entrepreneurial leaders create the mindset and develop the entrepreneurial infrastructure for success. They create the change that is required to transform the organization.
How do you create the entrepreneurial mindset and infrastructure for success?