Which of the following statements, A or B, do you agree with and why? A) I think there could be real benefits for me, my team, my organisation and our customers if I develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset OR B) An Entrepreneurial Mindset will never be relevant to me or my organisation.
Of course, here at the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, we argue that the Entrepreneurial Mindset is relevant to individuals, teams and organisations in a wide range of sectors and international settings. For example, I recently had dinner with three CEOs in English local government and they were all quickly convinced of the potential benefits of the Mindset in their own organisations.
If you chose statement A) then you probably share the view that an Entrepreneurial Mindset mimics the creative approach to problem-solving used by entrepreneurs. I believe that the Mindset, when well-aligned with the organisation’s goals, can empower workers to be creative, efficient and effective. In my view, the Mindset is more powerful than traditional change management techniques as it supports a transformation of personal behaviours FROM limited ways of thinking TO positive actions.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset supports changes in the behavioural norms of individuals, which in turn transforms the organisational culture as a whole. Studies repeatedly show that a lack of focus on culture accounts for the high failure rate of organisational change initiatives. The emphasis with the Mindset is on changing the organisational culture through creating a ‘can-do attitude’ for all individuals.
If you chose statement B) then you are one of a number of people for whom the idea of the Entrepreneurial Mindset doesn’t seem relevant. Maybe you have legitimate concerns about the perceived negative values of entrepreneurship? It is true that some entrepreneurs have a very bad reputation e.g. for excessive profits, poor employment practices or avoiding tax. However, not all entrepreneurs are like that and our definition of the Mindset challenges people to exhibit ethical behaviour at all times, to create value that will benefit others not just themselves and to create a range of economic, social and cultural value.
I don’t claim that the Entrepreneurial Mindset is a simple solution to the many complex challenges that organisations are facing. Instead, I believe it is a valid framework within prompts people to ask robust questions, which are sometimes overlooked or avoided, for the benefit of themselves and the people that their organisation serves. It’s not about making a quick buck at the expense of others. Equally, it is not about ignoring money. All of us need to improve our financial literacy so that we can be more confident about money, understand our organisation’s business model and play our part in securing long-term financial sustainability.
I believe everybody can benefit from developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset. I continue to listen closely not just to the people who agree with this proposition but importantly also to the people who don’t. All this feedback continues to inform the design of our Entrepreneurial Mindset mnemonic, which spells out the seven desirable behaviours/actions which support personal and organisational change. You can use the mnemonic to help you to think and act more entrepreneurially: by speaking up, taking the initiative, managing your workload, staying motivating and, above all, by working to meet the real needs of your citizens, customers, patients or students.
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Like so many people round the world, many of us have spent the last few weeks enjoying the entertainment of the World Cup. What lessons about dealing with failure could you apply in your workplace? Here are just a few things I saw…
1. You need the right mindset. A successful team, in sport or in the workplace, needs to aim high, work hard, play in creative and unexpected ways, show resilience in the face of strong opposition, collaborate with each other and take risks.
2. In the World Cup, ultimate success can only be achieved through an ongoing series of smaller wins. This is a useful way of re-examining our experiences in the workplace, where success and failure are often talked about as a binary divide, you either have one or the other. The most common scenario is that you set out for success but have to cope with failure. But what happens when you have a run of success and then fail? Do you find yourself dismissing defeat simply as an aberration, a misfortune or circumstances beyond your control? Do people avoid risks so as to avoid the possibility of damaging their image of success?
3. Be aware of the stories you are telling yourself to explain success or justify failure. You need to keep checking your assumptions about the causes of success. You make some plans and you take your actions. You have some success. You then assume that the success is a direct result of your plans and actions. The danger is that this assumption might be wrong and it can lure you into a false expectation of continued success if you just keep doing what you have been doing. Some teams in the World Cup won games mainly because their opponents made mistakes. They continued on, played the same way but then met an opponent who didn’t make a mistake and were defeated. Success demands that you remain alert to, and do not ignore, your potential weaknesses.
4 Self-belief is essential but mustn’t become unrealistic. As progress is made along the path to success, spirits rise, the ultimate prize is now within your sight, and you allow yourself to believe winning is possible. Positive emotions are a good thing but it can go too far. Maybe you start to tell yourself that you deserve to win, justified by all your hard work, or maybe you deserve to win to right the injustice of past failures.
5 Don’t allow wishful thinking and ignore any temptation towards superstition. On TV a mystic pig, a psychic cat and a supernatural octopus all predicted success, wrongly as it turned out.
6 Hard work does not mean you deserve success it just gives you better odds of success.
7 Don’t stop taking into account the views of your critics. After a run of success, it becomes more difficult for alternative points of view to be heard. After defeat, emotions are raw and people may not want to hear anybody ready to say “told you so.” It’s not worth listening to the bystanders who are willing you to fail, the ones who will relish your defeat. It is worth listening to a range of different views, finding our what the people think about the factors leading to success or defeat. You should definitely continue to question your own assumptions and critics will help you to do that.
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It really matters whether people - your boss, your colleagues, you - have the right mindset. Present your great idea to someone with the wrong mindset and they will be able to give you ten reasons why it won’t work. Share your idea with someone with the right mindset and they will say “ok, let’s work out how to make this happen.”
The person with the wrong mindset thinks that things can’t change. It’s the raised red hand telling you “No! Stop!” Do you know people like this? Have many times have you heard the following excuses? “We’ve tried something similar before and it didn’t work”, “We can’t do it without more money”, “We don’t have the time”, and “It will never happen.” A person with the right mindset also recognises that there are real challenges to overcome but they respond in a different way.
The person with the right mindset believes that things could change. They might doubt how easy it will be to make the change but they are willing to give it a go. It's green for "Let's go!" They think creatively, they build on lessons learned, they try to make smart use of the available resources, they embrace the change into their standard routine rather than seeing it as an additional burden. They ask themselves “how can I make this happen?” Having the right mindset isn’t wishful thinking. It means being prepared to put the hard work in.
It really matters whether people - your boss, your colleagues, you - have the right mindset. And It is possible to change your mindset, to start to let go of the behaviours associated with the wrong mindset and learn how to reap the benefits of the right mindset. With an entrepreneurial mindset you will be able to embrace opportunities to change, keep motivated, get more done and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
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You are working to transform Local Government. In the face of diminishing resources and growing expectations about services, you recognise that Local Government needs to change. However, experience has shown you that change making is not straightforward. You understand that the obstacles you face are inevitable but you continue to have faith that they are not insurmountable. On the one hand, you want to uphold the values of public service, to honour the tried and tested best practices. On the other hand, you recognise the need to combine the best of Local Government with new ways of thinking and acting.
We believe in the power of the entrepreneurial mindset to transform Local Government. An entrepreneurial mindset mimics the creative, financial, service-oriented and ethical approaches used by entrepreneurs. Our proposition is that an entrepreneurial mindset can be learned by individuals and successfully applied within Local Government. Changes in the behavioural norms of individuals can then combine to transform the organisational culture as a whole. The entrepreneurial mindset, when well-aligned with the organisation’s goals, can empower people to deliver services with increased creativity, efficiency and effectiveness.
We are keen to partner with leaders, advocates and champions for change-making in Local Government. We want to collaborate with you and demonstrate that the mindset is a robust, rigorous and realistic approach to delivering transformation in Local Government. Let’s connect. Together we can create an entrepreneurial mindset in Local Government.
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Most people at work want to be part of a success. They want to experience success for themselves as an individual, for their team and for their organisation as a whole. Their personal to-do list aims to improve things by the end of the week or the month. Their team’s plan says things will get better over the course of the coming year. The organisation’s strategic plan says things will be better in 5 years. Everybody is looking forward to jam tomorrow.
Believing that things will get better with a little bit of effort is a good thing. It motivates us, we measure our performance, we move forward. But is this commitment to making things better in the future preventing you from seeing, hearing or talking about what should be counted as completely unacceptable right now? So take a moment to think about your organisation and ask yourself: “what is unacceptable today?”
Did you think about what you find unacceptable? Go further. What is unacceptable to your customers? What are they having to put up with? If you were in their situation would you put up with it?
“What is unacceptable today?” is a powerful question. It can reveal to you the things that you have stopped being able to see but which are obvious to your customers.
Having thought about what is unacceptable you can now apply the entrepreneurial mindset and ask yourself “What am I personally going to do about it? Today.” Time for action!
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Entrepreneurship is about creating value in the world. To be entrepreneurial you need to have the right mindset and you must want to bring about really significant change.
E=mc2 is a fundamental formula that you can apply not just to running a business but to all walks of life. It’s relevant to you whether you are employed, self-employed or an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship means you can create economic, social and cultural value. You can add value and make the world a better place!
mindset is important because it enables you to look at the problems and opportunities in the world and ask yourself “what am I personally going to do?” We can all take the lead!
change needs to be more than incremental; you need to challenge the status quo and challenge yourself. You can make a real difference!
Whether you are employed in an organisation, work for yourself or you are starting a business that will create employment, it's time to change your mindset and change the world!
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The Entrepreneurial Mindset is a way of thinking but it also means making a commitment to hard work. What are the tools that you need to help you be more entrepreneurial in your work? Just wishing for things isn’t enough.
First, like an entrepreneur, instead of waiting for someone else, you ask yourself "What am I going to do?" You own problems and take personal responsibility.
Second, Like an entrepreneur, you can take action, you are determined and resilient in the face of obstacles. Entrepreneurs get things done and they don't give up when the going gets tough.
Third, you have to ask yourself, it is all this hard work getting me towards my goals or am I just very busy? Simply working harder is not the answer. You need to work on the right things and learn how to work in smarter ways.
One bad habit people have is to keep adding things to their to do list. Yes there are endless opportunities to pick up additional tasks . But ask yourself what are you going to STOP doing? Are you working on the things that will make a difference and have a real impact? Are you owning your responsibility for creating a good work/life balance?
We believe that to be effective, the entrepreneurial mindset has to be a rigorous way of thinking and acting. So we are working to develop tools and techniques that you can use to put these ideas into practice. Want to know more? Let’s talk...email@example.com
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The start of the new year is traditionally the time when we make resolutions about the things we want to change in the coming 12 months.
Be clear and ambitious about what you want to change. What do you want to change about yourself? How are you going to change your organisation? How can you influence the changes needed in your town or city? How can you play a part in bringing about change in your country or across the world? Dream big!
Believe that striving for change is worthwhile and that change is possible. Sometimes the thought of achieving even small changes in our behaviours can seem daunting, nevermind trying to change our organisations or cities. At the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network we know that if you can change your mindset then you can change the world. If you would like to collaborate, to bring about real change and make a difference in 2018 then please get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org
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I had the pleasure this month to run a workshop on the theme of the entrepreneurial mindset in healthcare innovation. (Press on the picture to the left to see a short video.)
The workshop was part of a one day conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, organised by Copenhagen Health Innovation, Copenhagen Health Cluster and Copenhagen Centre for Health Technology. The event was a huge success, attracting over 450 people from the Danish healthcare innovation ecosystem.
What was particularly impressive, and I really take my hat off to the organisers, was that the delegates included representatives from higher education, local government, hospitals, private companies and the not for profit sector. It was very inspiring to see all these sectors represented and it reinforced to me key aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset which are about how best to engage and collaborate with other people.
As individuals we can get passionate about an issue like improving healthcare but it is only through collaboration across multiple sectors that we will be able to achieve our shared ambitions for a sustainable and innovative health care system that delivers the best outcomes for patients and citizens.
If you want to find our more or discuss any of these issues then please contact me at email@example.com
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To raise the performance of the people in your team, you need to be able to flex between leadership and management. On the one hand, through your leadership, you can inspire and motivate people. On the other hand, through your management, you can ensure things get done. Flexing between leadership and management is important. All leadership with no management and people will soon get tired of your fine words that never come to anything. All management with no leadership and people will become demotivated by your rule book. A simple model with four quadrants illustrates these points:
* Quadrant 1: When performance is strong and you demonstrate leadership, then you coach and advise people so that they can sustain their high achievements
* Quadrant 2: When performance is strong and you exercise management, then you enable people by listening to them and taking action to resolve the problems that are beyond their control
* Quadrant 3: When performance is poor and you use your leadership, then you find ways to motivate and inspire people to raise their game and help them to see the part they can play
* Quadrant 4: When performance is poor and you take management action, then you spell out what people need to do, give instructions if necessary and are explicit about the consequences of underperforming
Leadership AND management - it’s a balancing act which should not depend on your personal characteristics or your preferences. Of course everyone would prefer to be coaching high fliers rather than managing under performance but don’t shy away from operating in quadrant 4! The choice of whether you should ‘coach’, ‘enable’, ‘motivate’ or ‘instruct’ is dependent on what each person in your team needs to improve or sustain their performance. You will use each of the 4 quadrants at different times with the same person, maybe even flexing between the quadrants within just one conversation!
If you want to discuss this model further and learn about is practical application then please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
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What do you really need to get done in your life and at work? Can you hear the alarm ringing? Don’t press the snooze button. What’s the opportunity you spotted to do something new? What’s the idea you had to improve something that really bugs you? Why have you still not taken any action?
One of the central ideas of the entrepreneurial mindset that I really like is this: it’s not only a way of thinking, it demands that you take action! Instead of wondering who else is going to sort things out, you ask yourself “what am I personally going to do about it, today?”
Here are 5 ideas to help you avoid hitting your snooze button. The alarm is ringing so it’s time to take action!
1 Don’t get trapped in the daily routine. No matter how many hours you work, there will always be more to do. So set aside time in your day to do stuff that matters. Don’t let another week or month or year go by.
2 Be a rebel with a cause. What excites you? What drives you mad? Use that sense of passion to motivate you and help you make a difference. Don’t forget what your dream is.
3 Take a step towards your big goal. Sometimes the size of the goal can seem daunting. Don’t wait until you have planned out all the steps. Make yourself take the first step. Don’t delay.
4 Get a colleague on board. Who do you need to buy a cup of coffee for this week or offer to buy lunch? Finding a colleague with a common goal will keep you both motivated to take action. Don’t try to do it all by yourself.
Paul Coyle, Director, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, email@example.com
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How well do you cope with change in your organisation? Things change and often in ways we could not have anticipated. A useful analogy that can help us to think about change within an organisation is music technology. There have been many changes in the ways we buy, own and listen to music. Similarly, people in organisations will have experienced many change initiatives, some short-lived (like the mini disc) and others highly successful (like the iPod). Do we need to accept and anticipate that things will change again?
Are you able to let go or do you need to hold on? In general, when change comes, we are happy that we understand the current ways of doing things and feel uncertain about how things will work in the future. This is the most difficult part of change: - letting go of what we already have so that we can take advantage of new opportunities. We especially worry about the cost of change e.g. it’s expensive buying music again in a new format. However, in a similar way, should we expect to have to reinvest our energy and talents again and again into the new changes that are introduced by our organisations?
Are you ready for what’s coming next? New employees have a different perspective as they don’t know about the history of the organisation. They are unaware of the way things used to be (just like they might be utterly bemused by a cassette tape and are happily embracing online streaming). However, even the latest initiatives will have their own life span. Are you ready for what’s coming next?
In summary, here are 5 simples suggestions for coping with change:
1. Accept that things will change; they have in the past and they will in the future
2. Try to identify the new opportunities that each change brings
3. Be prepared to reinvest your energy and talents into supporting new initiatives
4. Keep alert to signals that show that things are about to change again
5. Repeat steps 1 to 4!
Paul Coyle, Director, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, firstname.lastname@example.org
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In May and June, I had the pleasure of running workshops on the theme of the entrepreneurial mindset in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Participants came from universities in Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Norway, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom.
One of the topics we discussed was the benefits of an entrepreneurial mindset. And this is what the people from the 15 different countries said:
That's an inspiring list! What's also interesting is the range of different subject disciplines that participants are working in: accounting, business, chemistry, entrepreneurship, environment, health, health technologies, HR, information systems, international relations, languages and culture, law, management, marketing, mathematics and statistics, medicine, philosophy, politics, project management, psychology, religion and technology transfer.
I conclude that there are many potential benefits of having an entrepreneurial mindset which lead to valuable improvements for individuals and organisations. And these benefits can be achieved in many different subject disciplines and in a wide range of contexts all over the world. I hope this inspires you to take action!
Paul Coyle, Director, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, email@example.com
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If we accept that risk taking is an essential part of being entrepreneurial, then I find myself asking what on earth does risk taking mean to people who work in Higher Education? I have been investigating this question for a couple of years now and I am often surprised that in a university, of all places, people feel that the pressures to conform far outweigh any encouragement to innovate.
I recently put a post on LinkedIn about risk taking and was delighted by the feedback I received. The messages I exchanged with people in my network created some fresh perspectives on risk taking from the organisational and individual perspectives.
The organisational perspective
The Individual Perspective
I believe that is essential to develop a better understaning of why people do and don't take risks in an organisation, whether that be a university, a local council or health care provider. I'd be very happy to discuss this further with people who share this interest.
Paul Coyle, Director, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, firstname.lastname@example.org