Topic: 1) General Management
Discussions with a number of dissatisfied folks that I know in the telcom space and within larger companies motivated me to write this entry. I debated whether I should include in the Early-Stage Ventures thread, but then I realized the angle I wanted to take was geared towards people in both small and large organizations.
To simplify the purposes of this discussion (and cutting a number of corners), there are two definitions:
1) Entrepreneurship Defined As A Small Business: starting or working for a company that is distinguished by limitations in size or age more than other attributes (< X people, < $Y in revenue, < $Z in valuation, < A years in age, etc.)
2) Entrepreneurship Defined As An Orientation: working and taking calculated risks to maximize the value of assets available as opposed to overprotecting assets and avoiding risks (trustee orientation/tendency).
Why is this important? If you believe in the Entrepreneurship Defined As An Orientation model, one should then look for entrepreneurial opportunities with whatever company you are working for (large or small). In larger companies, this may mean setting true personal goals with one's manager (as opposed to going through customary motions that may be required by the company's bureaucracy), communicating risks one wants to take (along with the calculated downsides and potential upsides), looking for opportunities to help people both within and outside of the organization, and not getting discouraged when things fail or when ideas get rejected. There's the old saying that "one needs to break a few eggs to make an omelet."
In any case, I think these are important things to consider. As cited by Harvard Business School (HBS) professor Dr. John P. Kotler in his book, "The New Rules" (1995) where he surveyed a portion of the HBS Class of '74, entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs are more alike than they are different. Dr. Kotler does cite four areas where the biggest exceptions bear out: independence, propensity to work hard, need for autonomy, and need for security. If find it interesting to note that biggest difference seemed to be in the area of security. For entrepreneurs, only 2% needed security where for non-entrepreneurs the figure was 18%. This is a 9X difference and should not be treated lightly by those in large companies looking for a change or regretting changes that they had not made to strike out on one's own.
The grass is not always greener on the other side. As an influential figure once said, "Judge me by my size do you? ... You should not." (Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back). The Force lies within and about you.
S4 Management Group