Effective blending of Entrepreneurship and Professionalism
What is common in these companies? They are leaders in their respective fields. They give good returns to their stakeholders. In short they are successful organizations. They all had ‘vision’. They took each and every step in their growth path, systematically. They saw obstacles in their paths as opportunities. They knew that ‘market’ is a treadmill and not an elevator, where one has to run continuously even to sustain his position.
They were proactive rather than reactive. They were able to maintain the profit levels in their current business and prepare themselves for the future. They are all professionally managed companies with an entrepreneurial drive.
Professionalism is a systematic way of applying concepts in managing. Whereas entrepreneurship is the style of management, which aims at continuous innovation, encourages risk-taking and decentralizes decision-making.
In this growing society, every major social task has been entrusted to large organizations from producing goods and services to healthcare, from social security and welfare to education, from the search of new knowledge to the protection of natural environment. If these organizations of our pluralistic society do not perform in responsible autonomy and total efficiency then we will not have individualism and a society in which there is a chance for people to fulfill themselves.
Before 50 years, the society was diffused in countless molecules – small workshops, small schools, the individual professional whether doctor or lawyer – practicing by himself, the farmer, the craftsmen, the neighborhood retail store and so on. The citizen of 1900 worked on the farm or worked for a small family-type operation. But the citizen of today is typically an employee. He works for one of the institutions. He looks to them for his livelihood, opportunities, status and function in society as well as for personal fulfillment and achievement. In early, 1900s people asked ‘What do you do?’ today they tend to ask ‘Whom do you work for?’
The achievement of these business organizations enables us today to reduce the grinding poverty that has been plaguing the mankind through the years. It is largely the achievement of these organizations that advanced societies today can afford mass higher education. They both produce the economic means to support the expensive undertaking and offer the jobs in which knowledge can become productive and can be paid for. These organizations are conceived, created, built up by an entrepreneur who after its creation is responsible for directing vision and resources towards greatest results or contributions.
So business organizations are very much essential for the development of the society as a whole. These organizations are conceived, created, built up by an entrepreneur who after its creation is responsible for directing vision and resources towards greatest results and contributions. In the process, the organizations grow. They (organizations) interact with consumers, suppliers, employees, competitors, legal bodies, public and all. The need of systematic way of management was felt at this point of time so that the needs of people involved in the company.
This heralded the beginning of professionalism in management of companies and the evolution of management sciences. Theories of management were put forth. People working for organizations used theoretical tools and concepts in solving organizational problems. Decision-making was done in a scientific fashion. Organizations started moving towards achieving transparency in their operations. All these resulted in increasing efficiency in the organizations. But is it sufficient?
What is an entrepreneur? As per Oxford English Dictionary, “Entrepreneur is a person who undertakes on his own to supply a good or service to the market for personal profit, usually investing personal capital in the business and taking on the risks associated with the investment”. The initiative of entrepreneurs creates a society’s wealth. Some of the entrepreneurial qualities are:
1. Belief in oneself – self-confidence
2. Confidence in one’s own ventures, ideas
3. Willingness to make sacrifices
4. Decision-making capability
5. Ability to recognize opportunities
6. Keeping cool head
7. High levels of energy and stamina
8. Leading by example – motivate
Entrepreneurs are those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. Entrepreneurship is a means of self-actualization as per Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Victor Kiam, in his book ‘Going for it’, says, ‘Entrepreneurship is a way of life. One can be an entrepreneur in a large corporation, at home, in government, in retirement’. Entrepreneurship is a philosophy of life, enabling one with energy, persistence, courage and a little bit of luck to get the very most out of life.
There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. Markets are not created by God, nature of economic forces but by businessmen – entrepreneurs. The want a business satisfies may have been felt by the customers before he was offered the means of satisfying it. Like food in a famine, if may have dominated the customer’s life and filled all his waking moments, but it remained a potential want until the action of the entrepreneur converted it into effective demand. Only then, there is a customer and a market. The want may have been unfelt by the potential customer: no one knew that he wanted a Xerox machine or computer until these became available. There may have been no want at all until business action created it buy innovation, by credit, by advertising or by salesmanship. In every case it is the business action that creates the customer.
Entrepreneurs Innovate: Innovation is the specific instrument of Entrepreneurship. It is the act that endorses resources with a new capacity to create wealth. Innovation indeed, creates a resource. There is no such thing as a resource until man finds a use for something in nature and thus endorses with economic value until every man is a weed and every mineral is just another rock. Successful entrepreneurs, whatever their individual motivation – be money, power, curiosity, or the desire for fame and recognition – try to create value and to make a contribution. Still, successful entrepreneurs aim high. They are not content simply to improve on what already exists, or to modify it. They try to create value and to make a contribution. They try to create new and different values and new and different satisfactions, to convert a ‘material’ into a ‘resource’, or to combine existing resources in a new and more productive configuration.