Entrepreneurship, innovation and the daily top ten advice

Today I was searching the internet for interesting articles on innovation and entrepreneurship again and came across the blog of Greg Watson who was referring to several presenters of an event he must have visited.
It was an interesting article to read because it was on the differences between entrepreneurs and actors within an organizational context a field that always catches my attention. Besides the everyday advice on entrepreneurial behavior and mindset which in my opinion are often blocking a clear view on the topic two statements struck my eyes.

The first one was:
“(…).That is the enterprise must eventually develop to a point where it can be sustained without the original founder.” (…)This is a traditional cycle of the various stages of development that a corporate enterprise goes through; and each stage typically needs a different type of management and leadership – thus to grow to the next stage often will require new management and the traditional entrepreneur must have the ability to move on to their next entrepreneurial cycle of new enterprise creation.

And the second:
“In many cases, free from the burden of assuming the risk of the economic activity, various individuals often will feel free to pursue new opportunities in an entrepreneurial like manner. Thus while they individually may not be entrepreneurs, they can collectively function in an entrepreneurial like manner to the “benefit of” and the “risk to” the enterprise.”

Why these two statements??
I tell you why.

The first one, because it suggests that establishing entrepreneurial spirit is not the solution of all corporate problems, in contrast to common beliefs. Nevertheless it may serve as an explanation for the different degree of innovativeness within established and entrepreneurial firms and why many firms are having problems accomplishing the transition from their entrepreneurial stage into a stage of sustained corporate development. Watson hints that organizational structure, management and leadership must be matched to the corporate lifecycle. Looking at Steve Jobs, his Apple career and Apple’s development, this seems to be observable.

The second one, because it states that even though the characteristics of entrepreneurs and “intrapreneurs” may be different organizational structures may overcome these boundaries, at least as far as innovation activities are concerned.
Dear managers: “You don’t really want entrepreneurs in your company…. and usually you don’t even need them”. Think about it for a minute.

Reading suggestions:

Utterback, James M. (1994): Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation. Harvard
Business School Press, Boston.

Ward, Thomas B. (2004): Cognition, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. Journal of
Business Venturing, Vol. 19: 173-188.

Mohammed, Susan; Dumvill, Brad C. (2001): Team Mental Models in a Team Knowledge Framework: Expanding Theory and Measurement Across
Disciplinary Boundaries. Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 22: 89-