Being an Entrepreneur in an Organization

By: Amy Querin


Many companies today run on mapped out systems with strict instructions for each employee. Do your job and the company succeeds. But where are the entrepreneurs, the dreamers, the visionaries?

How do you foster both business success and the imaginative spirit of a visionary who can transform your company from one of many to a standout in the industry?

Operating Systems to the Rescue

Many companies lean on business concepts and practical tools that recognize the role of a Visionary. For example, The Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) is designed to give your company an interesting mix of both proven processes to keep employees on track and moving ahead while also allowing Visionaries the freedom to spread their wings and fly.

How does this work? Through a Visionary/Integrator (V/I) relationship. The V is the Visionary, the dreamer of dreams. The I is the Integrator, the person who gets stuff done. In his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, Simon Sinek describes the two roles as WHY people (Visionary types) and HOW people (Integrator types). Pairing these two people together gives an organization the freedom to expand, to explore, and to innovate while also keeping them grounded in what’s possible and what has potential.

Can There Be More Than One?

We recently read a great blog by Mark C. Winters at Rocket Fuel where he asks and answers a similar question – Can there be more than two Visionaries in you company Accountability Chart™? His answer was no. Actually, it was a pretty resounding no.

Do we agree? Yes and No. On the yes side of things, we totally agree that there needs to be one person, one defined Visionary, at the top working with the Integrator to get stuff done. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of the company follows along like little robots. It doesn’t mean those other Visionaries (or employees with visionary tendencies) should be tamped down and not allowed to shine.

We think a company that fosters many Visionary-types, or Intrapreneurs, can thrive. Especially, and this is key, if you can foster excellence in the manager/employee relationship and encourage other V/I relationships and pairings.

Intrapreneurs Within the Company

Being an entrepreneur or having a mind that works that way doesn’t mean you have to try to strike out on your own. You can work within a company, you can have ideas that are incredible and fostered by management, and you can see those ideas come to life.

But how does a company foster this bold way of thinking in its organization while keeping its eye on its primary function? A big part of this has to do with the manager relationship.

M4P, Management for Performance

We’ve been in the talent business for more than a decade and kept hearing our partners say that they loved our hiring process, but they wanted more. For us, that led to an obvious next step – a management solution. So we created one.

Our Manage for Performance, or M4P app, gets rid of outdated management concepts and gives you the secret to management success.

M4P goes deep into who your people are; we set up a system to understand them on multiple levels so your management team can manage a human being with all of their individual complexities. They no longer manage a job title.

This helps you understand which people burn with ideas and novel solutions and which ones are fantastic at implementing ideas. It’s a system that provides management clarity for Visionaries and Integrators and everyone else within your organization.

Borrow our thinking on this topic by attending our weekly workshop: Manage 4 Performance Wednesdays 1:00 pm CST

What Success Feels Like

We all know what success looks like for a company – it’s a healthy bottom line, it’s high-performing employees who stay with the company, and it’s a well-respected product/service/output.

If you’re a company who is dedicated to putting its people first, it’s also critical to ask what success feels like. It’s harder to measure and difficult to illustrate but when your employees are understood and supported for who they are as individuals, then that’s what success feels like within a company. From the top down, if every person is working within this M4P approach, they are fostered for their skills, their values, and what they uniquely bring to the job – including the Visionary (and Implementer) types.

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