The burning question today when businesses are faced with the need for change and innovation is how they can get in touch with their entrepreneurial instinct. The rewards for doing so can be enormous. It can transform a business if it can be identified and harnessed.
A recent study consisting of in depth interviews with 30 entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes found six primary characteristics of the entrepreneurial instinct. So what are they?
The first is a burning desire for independence. The need to be special and unique is a driving force of the entrepreneurial instinct. Any company wanting to get more entrepreneurial has to be prepared to accentuate its differences and peculiarities. In other words it has to accentuate its individuality.
The second characteristic concerns the passion that emerges from the personal vulnerability of the entrepreneur. Some entrepreneurs have an inner voice that tells them they will never amount to anything. But regardless of who put this idea into their minds, these people are not the retiring types who take rebuke passively; they are the defiant ones who deal with it creatively through action.
The few companies that survive adolescence with their original creative spirit intact are those who succeed in positively channelling their entrepreneurial passion rather than suppressing it.
Dogged determination and irrepressible energy is the third characteristic. It’s something within a person that compels them to find better ways of doing things. The fat lady never sings for the entrepreneurial company.
The fourth characteristic is creativity. Entrepreneurs are creative people who bring something into being out of nothing. It’s not so much the idea that matters to the entrepreneur; the important thing is to bring it into existence. Whereas bureaucratic companies tend to be old, slow and reactive, entrepreneurial companies are young, energetic and creative.
The adrenaline of entrepreneurial companies establishes a rhythm of perpetual motion. This is the fifth characteristic. Usually you have to have a crisis to refocus a business. The belief, energy, enthusiasm and persistence to find new solutions and follow through to get the required result are key attributes of the entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurial companies live on adrenaline; mature companies crave certainty and want to control their environment. Entrepreneurial companies not only go with the flow; they thrive on the excitement of it all.
The sixth characteristic concerns femininity. There’s a trend led in part by female entrepreneurs towards a more collaborative and feminine model of business that places emphasise on relationships and “soft” values. The personal nature of relationships between all individuals is evident in entrepreneurial companies. Mutual respect, the mutual caring, genuine caring is all around. This doesn’t imply that everyone is best friends, of course not. It is a commercial relationship, but there is a blurring that goes on that is very real and very mutual.
These companies don’t do anything intentionally to annoy, irritate or upset the person over there because they have respect for them and that’s all about personal relationships. Those companies that are in touch with their entrepreneurial instinct are often in touch with their feminine side. Those that aren’t will find that they need to develop it.
Uniqueness, passion, energy, creativity, rhythm and femininity: these are the distinguishing qualities of the entrepreneurial instinct. These are the dimensions that companies need to address if they want to get more entrepreneurial.
At LMI in the UK we develop and encourage these entrepreneurial instincts through the whole range of our programmes at the heart of which is goal setting, self motivation and self confidence, sustained by curiosity, flexibility, adaptability, optimism and a winning attitude.