In my November blog I described how important it is to unleash the power of innovative entrepreneurship in our digital & connected world.
How doing this manifests an optimistic, abundant & positive futures that:
- Maximises the potential of entrepreneurs to see & solve 21st century wicked problems, innovate new businesses that successfully compete, achieve exponential & sustainable growth in VUCA times.
- Creates the best environmental conditions for people across differing & diverse demographic & geographic segments to deliver sustainable & inclusive business developments that deliver a triple bottom line (people, profit & planet).
- Models & replicates how successful entrepreneurs lead & build entrepreneurial companies that accelerate access to new markets & ultimately become scalable, high-growth businesses, within collaborative eco-systems.
Taking collective action
Achieving this requires us to take collective action in questioning, rethinking, renewing & reinventing our habitual ways of working & doing business. Because, as prosperous individuals, teams & organisations, we can no longer afford to sit on our laurels.
We have the opportunity & perhaps, even the responsibility, to unleash our people’s innovation potential.
By collaborating & sharing new ways of maximising the “triple-e’s” education, employment & engagement, now 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, 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 & renew their corporations, basic civil systems, communities & even their nations?
To become the “crazy ones who spit in the eye of the status quo” with compassion, creativity & courage, fuelled by a passionate purpose to make their dent in the universe. Which is what is necessary for creating equilibrium & a successful & more sustainable world.
My ongoing entrepreneurial learning journey
In my last blog I shared how shocked I was to see in my calendar that 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 & learning & development space. I also shared details describing my first three learning’s as a serial female entrepreneur. So here is the next instalment of my ongoing personal entrepreneurship story.
From 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 & hone my corporate training knowledge, skills & experience across the culture, leadership & team development domains. It was an awesome learning experience, especially when we developed an innovative & 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 & 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 & ensuring that others you count on, keep theirs. It also requires a certain type of boldness, deep integrity, strong intrinsic motivation & smart risk taking. As well as taking personal responsibility for delivering the desired outcomes, & applying milestones as guiding lights & score cards along the way.
- The power of team cohesion & 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 & collaborative, & hard-core agile teaming skills were the critical success factors for effective project execution & delivery.
Because team leaders have a profound impact on their team’s ability to coordinate, execute & deliver outcomes, I focused on developing the most resourceful mindsets, behaviours, skills & practices of both the team leaders & members.
This involved applying a vast number of diverse team diagnostic tools & processes, providing both data representing quantitative measures of team effectiveness. As well as a qualitative assessment of the key messages driving individual & collective behaviours & their impact on performance. I then shared these results with the team & designed & delivered their customised blended learning journey. These incorporated adult & experiential learning methodologies that provided opportunities for team leaders & members to safely learn by doing.
I moved on from Corporate Vision & boldly established my own learning & development organisation, Compass Learning Pty Ltd. Initially, in collaboration with my experiential learning provider, Team Focus International, we co-created & facilitated a series of customised top team alignment learning journeys. Where we aimed at developing for our clients, the mindset & behavioural changes needed to create high performing leaders & aligned executive teams in ways that were ethical, sustainable & enduring.
Successful entrepreneurs understand & focus on unleashing the innovation potential & power of people. They develop an ability to work cohesively & collaboratively with others effectively. By candidly & bravely maximising differences & diversity, taking smart risks & by experimenting with doing things differently. They successfully engage, enrol & 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 & team functionality is based on understanding and working with people’s underlying needs, values, beliefs & emotions. These are usually then expressed as thought & feelings & presented as a unique worldview or mindset.
Facilitating high performing teams involved co-creating clarity of purpose, agreeing roles & responsibilities, setting team goals & developing trusted relationships. Then developing effective team communication, decision making & problem-solving processes & habits for working together cohesively & collaboratively within a Team Charter.
To be successful, I noticed that I needed to calibrate & work with, at very deep levels, each individuals’ unique needs & values sets, & their varying ranges of emotional & cognitive responses to what went on for them personally, & in the team. I did this to ensure that people felt & thought that their contribution meaningful & purposeful, & could therefore align both emotionally & cognitively, to enact the Team Charter.
This made it easier to introduce & train teams in the necessary teaming skills, & also created the foundations for developing constructive team cultures, practising mutual accountability & improved performance.
Successful entrepreneurs understand & leverage the power of co-creating purposeful & meaningful work, by understanding the power of mindsets in creating powerful & constructive messages that engage & enrol people in change processes. They focus on quickly developing the most useful mindsets that enable & empower people to acknowledge & maximise differences & diversity & co-create, embody & enact a passionate purpose for change & cultivate entrepreneurship.
Being a congruent role model
Over these ten years, I deeply learnt what it means to be both a team leader & a team player, how to be accountable & how to hold the line in holding others to account. I also learnt how to design & deliver customised blended learning journeys for transformational leadership & top team clients that delivered what they promised.
Finally, my fascination with power & role of mindsets in change processes led me to play even more deeply in the transformational leadership, team coaching & organisational culture development space. To progress even further in the next ten years, in my most recent re-invention, as the Founder & CEO of ImagineNation™.
Watch out for my third blog in this series – the next ten years 2008-2018 & the continuing entrepreneurship journey & my next re-invention, through the creation of ImagineNation™ & my next 3 major learning’s as a female entrepreneur.
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