In my November blog I described how important it is to unleash the power of innovative entrepreneurship and leading people in the imagination age, in our digital and connected VUCA world. Where I shared the first set of three lessons learned from being an entrepreneur and the power of mindsets in change and innovation.
In this second blog in a series of three, I described the lessons learned from being an entrepreneur, and how doing this manifests an optimistic, abundant, and positive future:
- Maximises the potential of entrepreneurs to see and solve 21st-century wicked problems, innovate new businesses that successfully compete, and achieve exponential and sustainable growth in VUCA times.
- Creates the best environmental conditions for people across different and diverse demographic and geographic segments to deliver sustainable and inclusive business developments that deliver a triple bottom line (people, profit, and planet).
- Models and replicates how successful entrepreneurs lead and build entrepreneurial companies that accelerate access to new markets and ultimately become scalable, high-growth businesses, within collaborative ecosystems.
Taking collective action
Achieving this requires us to take collective action in questioning, rethinking, renewing, and reinventing our habitual ways of working and doing business. Because, as prosperous individuals, teams, and organisations, we can no longer afford to sit on our laurels.
We have the opportunity and perhaps, even the responsibility, to unleash our people’s innovation potential so that they can dance in dis-equilibrium.
By collaborating and sharing new ways of maximizing the “triple-e’s” education, employment and engagement, to cultivate learning agility, no matter where we are located.
In a world, where according to a recent McKinsey Report, in Asia today, there are more than 1.1 billion youth aged 10 to 24, which represents 26% of the total population where;
- 220 million youth are not engaged in education, employment, or training.
- Among those who are, the achievement is low.
- 36 million youth are unemployed, with another 300 million underemployed.
- This does not account for those in vulnerable working conditions (e.g., part-time work, jobs in the informal economy)
A pool of human possibility
The report states that “these numbers are staggering and it would be fair to argue that the world has never had a greater pool of human potential at-risk” or is it a greater pool of human possibility?
To create a new pool of innovative entrepreneurs who can rethink, reinvent and renew their corporations, basic civil systems, communities, and even their nations?
To become the “crazy ones who spit in the eye of the status quo” with compassion, creativity, and courage, fuelled by a passionate purpose to make their dent in the universe. Which is what is necessary for creating equilibrium and a successful and more sustainable world.
My ongoing entrepreneurial learning journey – the lessons learned from being an entrepreneur
In my last blog, I shared how shocked I was to see in my calendar that it was exactly 30 years since I exited my corporate career. I outlined some of my many mis- adventurous occurring in the first ten years in the management consulting and learning and development space. I also shared details describing my first three learnings as a serial female entrepreneur.
So here is the next installment of my ongoing personal entrepreneurship story, outlining the next three lessons learned from being an entrepreneur, to help retool in the next decade through the power of mindsets.
Lessons learned from being an entrepreneur
The second ten years 1998-2008
- Being accountable & holding others to account
Being an associate with Corporate Vision for over 12 years enabled me to develop and hone my corporate training knowledge, skills, and experience across the culture, leadership, and team development domains. It was an awesome learning experience, especially when we developed an innovative and experiential learning approach to training leaders in accountability in major Australian organisations.
It seems that accountability is a subject that everyone seems to talk about, yet finds difficult to define.
Yet, to be effective and successful as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to be accountable 24/7, especially in the early stages, when there is only self to rely upon.
This involves doing what you say you will, being trusted to keep your word and ensuring that others you count on, keep theirs.
It also requires a certain type of boldness, deep integrity, strong intrinsic motivation, leveraging the power of mindsets, and smart risk-taking. As well as taking personal responsibility for delivering the desired outcomes, and applying milestones as guiding lights and scorecards along the way.
- The power of team cohesion and collaboration
Whilst I was associated with Corporate Vision, I facilitated a vast number of team development programs, largely for IT business units, in a number of major financial services organisations. Being largely project-based, developing diverse, cohesive and collaborative, and hard-core agile teaming skills were the critical success factors for effective project execution and delivery.
Because team leaders have a profound impact on their team’s ability to coordinate, execute and deliver outcomes, I focused on developing the most resourceful mindsets, behaviours, skills, and practices of both the team leaders and members.
This involved applying a vast number of diverse team diagnostic tools and processes, providing both data representing quantitative measures of team effectiveness. As well as a qualitative assessment of the key messages driving individual and collective behaviours and their impact on performance. I then shared these results with the team and designed and delivered their customized blended learning journey.
These incorporated adult and experiential learning methodologies that provided opportunities for team leaders and members to safely learn by doing.
I moved on from Corporate Vision and boldly established my own learning and development organisation, Compass Learning Pty Ltd. Initially, in collaboration with my experiential learning provider, Team Focus International, we co-created and facilitated a series of customized top team alignment learning journeys. Where we aimed at developing for our clients, the power of mindset and behavioural changes needed to create high performing leaders and aligned executive teams in ways that were ethical, sustainable, and enduring.
Successful entrepreneurs understand and focus on unleashing the innovation potential and power of people. They develop an ability to work cohesively and collaboratively with others effectively. By candidly and bravely maximizing differences and diversity, taking smart risks, and experimenting with doing things differently.
They successfully engage, enroll and align people to collectively solve the intractable problems of starting a business, in the hope of satisfying a customer or user, anywhere, anytime, with anybody.
- Mindsets are foundational to any change process
Individual, group, and team functionality is based on understanding and working with people’s underlying needs, values, beliefs, and emotions. These are usually then expressed as thoughts and feelings and presented as a unique worldview or mindset.
Facilitating high-performing teams involved co-creating clarity of purpose, agreeing on roles and responsibilities, setting team goals, and developing trusted relationships. Then developing effective team communication, decision making, and problem-solving processes and habits for working together cohesively and collaboratively within a Team Charter.
To be successful, I noticed that I needed to calibrate and work with, at very deep levels, each individual’s unique needs and value sets, and the power of mindsets. To understand their varying ranges of emotional and cognitive responses to what went on for them personally, and in the team. I did this to ensure that people felt and thought that their contribution was meaningful and purposeful, and could, therefore, align both emotionally, viscerally and cognitively, to enact the Team Charter.
This made it easier to introduce and train teams in the necessary teaming skills, and also created the foundations for developing constructive team cultures, practicing mutual accountability, and improving performance.
Successful entrepreneurs understand and leverage the power of co-creating purposeful and meaningful work, by understanding the power of mindsets in creating powerful and constructive messages that engage and enroll people in change processes.
They focus on quickly developing the most useful mindsets that enable and empower people to acknowledge and maximize differences and diversity and co-create, embody, and enact a passionate purpose for change and cultivate entrepreneurship.
Lessons learned from being an entrepreneur – Being a congruent role model
Over these ten years, I deeply learned what it means to be both a team leader and a team player, how to be accountable, and how to hold the line in holding others to account. I also learned how to design and deliver customized blended learning journeys for transformational leadership and top team clients that delivered what they promised.
Finally, my fascination with the role and power of mindsets in change processes led me to play even more deeply in the transformational leadership, team coaching, and organisational culture development space.
To progress even further in the next ten years, in my most recent re-invention, as the Founder and CEO of ImagineNation™.
Watch out for my third blog in this series – the next ten years 2008-2018 and the continuing entrepreneurship journey and my next re-invention, through the creation of ImagineNation™, and my next 3 lessons learned from being an entrepreneur.
Find out about The Coach for Innovators Certified Program, a collaborative, intimate, and deep personalized learning program, supported by a global group of peers over 8 weeks, starting October 22, 2019. It is a deep blended learning program that will give you a deep understanding of the language, principles & applications of a human-centered approach to innovation, within your unique context. Find out more.