Dr Hannah Noke and Paul Kirkham took to the stage in our latest breakfast event, to give us some ideas on ‘Building A More Entrepreneurial Firm’. They both described an entrepreneurial organisation being able to innovate from within, not just as a reaction to external factors. But how can SMEs manage this alongside the day-to-day running of their business?
Using both your right and left hand!
The best organisations use both their left and right hand – balancing the daily routine of their business, but also looking out for new opportunities. Businesses must have ambidexterity! The most effective method for entrepreneurship is for people to work with others, take initiative and chase opportunities outside their normal role, build networks and multi-task. It’s as simple as that! We call this contextual ambidexterity. Paul spoke about how SMEs can assess new projects. He also told the audience that the worst failure is making the same mistake twice, so businesses should always learn from their mistakes. Entrepreneurial firms have an innovative strategy. Paul told our delegates to think about ‘what we do and why it is important’, to think about your company’s ambitions and ‘where you want to be’ and finally ‘how are we going to get there?’.
Hannah suggested that being an entrepreneurial business is all about knowledge. She asked the audience what data they collect and what they do with that data. Collecting data is all well and good within a company, but it’s what you do with that data that actually makes it meaningful. Collecting data and capturing it can help identify new opportunities and lead to innovative projects within the company. Hannah used real life examples to highlight the importance of knowledge. She spoke about companies such as Miele and Unilever who used their data to create new products and services, tailored towards a specific market. Hannah suggested gaining knowledge from all different people, such as customers and competitors to explore all possible innovative opportunities. Being an entrepreneurial business is all about envisioning the future. Chase those opportunities and your business will become more entrepreneurial.
For more information and to register for our next breakfast event, click here.