Are You An Entrepreneurial Manager?

Every business must be relevant to its customers and every entrepreneur must respond to the market. But as a business grows it needs the right mix of skills to survive.

Everyday challenges

Businesses spend a lot of time dealing with the everyday challenges of finance, management and operations. In many cases they are too busy to think about the future and consider where growth will come from.

This scenario is increasingly common, as businesses operate in surroundings where competition comes from new and unexpected sources. Technology is causing chaos in a way not previously experienced by traditional management.

New managers operate in a state of flux where long term planning and predictability are no longer the currency of choice. And where success depends on driving internal change before external disturbance weakens a company’s offering.

Traditionally, the skills of management included the ability to plan, lead, organise and control. But for today’s managers such an approach is not enough, as their experience is that of wrestling with unknowns and unknowables.

Traditionally, management teams believed it was possible to avoid failure through the use of detailed forecasts and strictly controlled execution. Today’s manager, influenced by the experience of entrepreneurs, treats failure as a way to learn and improve for the future. The ability to merge the two different approaches is what defines success, as traditional and entrepreneurial management are each needed to succeed.

From old to new

In many cases the magic that makes a business work lies in a clear vision, as it provides a framework for the delivery of daily operations and future growth. In this context, management planning and entrepreneurial drive combine to add value to all activities of the organisation.

To achieve such harmony however requires the willingness of traditional mangers to learn new skills and shed practices that are no longer effective. New managers have to learn too, as their enthusiasm to change the world is tempered with the need to deliver on more mundane operational matters.

The best businesses of course produce products customers trust and supply services customers want, whereas, the best managers excel in chaotic climates while still producing reliable results.

Successful businesses also capture the creativity of their employees, regardless of their role in the organisation; have a clear vision of the future, coupled with the flexibility to change direction as the market dictates; ensure support mechanisms throughout the organisation generate new ideas; and encourage entrepreneurial thinking at all levels.

They also embrace change as a normal and necessary part of the business process. Without such an appreciation they suffer at the hands of the market as it moves faster than their ability to keep up.

So, the merging of traditional and entrepreneurial management is taking place as future success depends on blending the best of both worlds.