Managers often worry about doing too much and the need to prioritise initiatives. This concern can become one of the big barriers to making practical steps for growth, when resources are limited.
This is because there is a real dilemma here.You know the only way to grow is to do stuff. If you carry on doing the same things as you did last year your business performance will remain the same as last year (at best!). But your bosses and shareholders want you to do the right things, the things that will work. How do you find out what is the right stuff , how do you pick the winners Powerful insights are helpful , but in the end you must translate these into practical steps for growth, you have to try things.
What distinguishes successful entrepreneurs is they will try stuff and take risks (albeit measured and calculated in some way. This leads to rapid growth and some failures.
What distinguishes large companies is they can leverage their assets to create cash to invest in future growth, their ability to organize large teams of people and a studied approach to managing the inherent risks. Their very size and organisation structures and processes often inhibit the entrepreneurial instinct to just try stuff out.
There is much debate in businesses about how to create the entrepreneurial spirit within a large company organization. Senior management recognize that the internal processes and management incentives and company politics can suppress this spirit. Over many years of witnessing different company teams and the process of taking steps to grow the business, we have consistently observed that practical steps for growth come from a small number of individuals who refuse the accept the processes, find ways around them and spend their time kicking doors down to make things happen.
This works because the business also has a large number of managers who are well able to contain and manage the risks that could be created by the “internal entrepreneur”. These “drivers for growth” can exist at many different levels within the organization, from the CEO to the brand manager or sales manager.
To be successful these “internal entrepreneurs” recognize that they must win people over and cannot achieve their goals by just pushing their ideas. However they are willing to push back and are not put off by objections and obstacles.
The business only needs a few "internal entrepreneurs" to kick down doors. Maybe the whole business team does not need to become "more entrepreneurial". Look around and see if your teams have a number of these "internal entrepreneurs". If you are the team leader, make sure you have some in the team. (suitably offset by some more restrained managers). If they are not there, work out how to find them or become one yourself.
You can watch, listen and learn from the successful internal entrepreneur as they invest a disproportionate amount of time selling their ideas and engaging the business teams in their mission.
At Differentiate we place great emphasis on not just powerful insights but ensuring these are translated into practical steps for growth and steps that have the support of the business team.