Issue No. 205 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting suggests you need wisdom to work with entrepreneurs. And if you fancy yourself as an entrepreneur, maybe you should actually study the discipline and read the classic text on the subject. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Leaps Tall Buildings…Splat!
First of all, I’m not an entrepreneur (I can barely spell the word)—but some of my best friends are entrepreneurs. Lately, I’ve been pondering the entrepreneurial side of nonprofit organizations, churches and businesses.
This month, Outcomes, published by Christian Leadership Alliance, included my article, “Entrepreneurial Wisdom: 5 Career-saving Principles for Ministry Entrepreneurs,” in the Winter 2010 issue. Here’s the introduction:
“You know the drill: A gifted, entrepreneurial ministry leader returns from his mountaintop meeting with God. He has a new vision. He casts the vision. He recruits more staff. He inspires major donors. He leaps tall buildings.
“He falls flat on his face.”
What’s the deal here? Well, first of all, entrepreneurs are very different animals. In the leading textbook on entrepreneurship worldwide, Entrepreneurship (eighth edition, McGraw Hill Irwin, 2010), Robert D. Hisrich defines an entrepreneur as “an individual who takes initiative to bundle resources in innovative ways and is willing to bear the risk and/or uncertainty to act.”
Churches and ministries, especially, desperately need initiative and innovation. Yet for all the talk and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship in the marketplace, those who exercise their entrepreneurial gifts in nonprofit organizations or churches are regularly misunderstood and often marginalized. Why?
If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, you likely see the world—and ministry opportunities—far differently than anyone else.
Hisrich, the Garvin Professor of Global Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Thunderbird School of Global Management, also understands the nonprofit ministry world and has led seminars for hundreds of nonprofit leaders over the years.
Along with co-authors Michael P. Peters and Dean A. Shepherd, Hisrich has created perhaps the most comprehensive study ever of entrepreneurial men and women. In this remarkable 602-page book, filled with fascinating sidebar profiles of in-the-trenches entrepreneurs, the authors uncover every entrepreneurial stone ever imagined and conclude their work with 17 case studies covering 120 pages from the Rug Bug Corporation to “Mamma Mia: The Little Show That Could!”
Hisrich cites a study by Howard Stevenson, a Harvard University professor, that says that “entrepreneurship represents a mode of managing an existing firm that is distinct from traditional management in terms of eight dimensions: (1) strategic orientation, (2) commitment to opportunity, (3) commitment of resources, (4) control of resources, (5) management structure, (6) reward philosophy, (7) growth orientation, and (8) entrepreneurial culture.”
Don’t let the “textbook” label scare you off. A good book on entrepreneurship must itself be entrepreneurial—and this one is. On page 49, Table 2.2 lists 20 continuums (rate your organization from 1 to 10) on how entrepreneurially your organization is managed. Example: “Our employees are evaluated and compensated based on their responsibilities” scores a one. At the other end, “Our employees are evaluated and compensated based on the value they add to the firm,” rates a 10.
If you fancy yourself an entrepreneur, but have never actually studied the art and science of entrepreneurship, maybe it’s time. Here are three options: 1) Download my two-page article, Entrepreneurial Wisdom; 2) Join me at the faith-based Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Feb. 20-23, 2011; and/or 3) Order the book.
To order this book from Amazon, click on the graphic below: Entrepreneurship, by Robert D. Hisrich, Michael P. Peters and Dean A. Shepherd.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions
Question #1: Rate our organization’s “Growth Orientation” on a scale of 1 to 10:
1 = “Growth is not necessarily our top objective. Long-term survival may be at least as important.”
10 = “It is generally known throughout the firm that growth is our top objective.”
Question #2: Rate our organization’s “Resource Orientation” on a scale of 1 to 10:
1 = “In exploiting opportunities, access to money is more important than just having the idea.”
10 = “In exploiting opportunities, having the idea is more important than just having the money.”
Don’t Whine! - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Culture Bucket, Chapter 8, in Mastering the Management Buckets is to simplify the blue sky concept of corporate culture—and bring it back down to terra firma.
John Wooden, the esteemed UCLA basketball coach (who died at age 99 in June) was back in the news this week when the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team broke the collegiate record 88-game win streak set by Wooden’s UCLA men’s team from 1971-74.
Wooden’s “2 sets of 3” core values were simple and memorable. Here’s how he netted them out (sorry for the pun):
“Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal.
Don’t whine. Don’t complain. Don’t make excuses.”
Core values must be memorable if they are to be part of your corporate DNA. Check out the amazingly creative two-minute video on the core value of conflict resolution from Peacemaker Ministries. (It’s memorable.) Go to the Culture Bucket page on the Management Buckets website.
Feb. 20-23, 2011 – ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT: With Bob Hisrich, Ted Malloch, Rick Goossen and John Pearson, in partnership with the Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Phoenix, Ariz. Download the brochure.