Content originally taken from eBella Magazine, “Adventures in the Workplace” by Kelly Townsend
I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different kinds of entrepreneurs in the United States and Europe who’ve created small and rather large organizations. No matter what the size of the company, I’m always inspired by these entrepreneurs’ attitude. It’s clear they love challenges and exude energy. Successful entrepreneurs are ingrained with an unstoppable passion for creating something new and then doing whatever they have to do to make it happen. After they’ve developed their idea, they go to work at implementing it and enrolling others in the possibility of what they’re creating.
There’s nothing like the entrepreneurial spirit to liven up an organization. So are these adventurers born with an entrepreneur gene? Absolutely not! It’s not only possible to generate yourself as an entrepreneur; it’s possible to create the entrepreneurial spirit within your organization, no matter what the size. Creating an environment that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit in all of us is especially useful in the current economy. With breakdowns in profits, new budgets and staff cuts, managers are struggling to keep workers not only motivated, but more productive than ever before. Yet there’s a clear impact on your employees when you’re reducing expenses, cutting incentives and laying off workers. The environment is ripe for employee disenchantment and uncertainty, which may threaten those involved. One answer is to take steps in creating the entrepreneurial spirit within your organization. How do you do that?
1. Be in Constant, Authentic Communication
Start dealing with what’s happening in the organization openly and honestly. Let workers know what’s happening. During times of change it’s important to involve them so they can contribute to what’s happening. Create a partnership with each staff member. If they’re wearing more hats and doing what others were doing, give them time to create what their new role looks like, and make sure they’re clear about what’s expected of them. Ask them for new ideas that would enhance what they’re now taking on. In addition, generate structures and regular communication practices that let staff know what leadership is dealing with in the organization. Employees will automatically be threatened, so it’s important to keep them up to date. Being up front will also reduce the impact of gossip, which can undermine morale.
2. Establish Ownership of the Adventure
Brainstorm ways to make each person’s role more effective. You’ll be surprised when you take time to see how much the people around you have to contribute. They’re usually hungry to make a difference. Have workers create new ideas and be open to what they’re communicating. Have each member create a game plan every 90 days.When you have people going from being accountable for one role, and then adding the diversity of other roles, it’s important to plan together what each role looks like, as well as the amount of time you expect this person to spend on which roles.
3. Manage the Adventure
Give people the opportunity and freedom to create and work their plan. This allows for the creative and entrepreneurial spirit to show up in your workforce. You may need to tease it out, but it’s there. After each person creates their plan, meet weekly to manage what they said they would create and do. This style of management allows for creativity, and helps you strengthen your worker’s performance by dealing with what shows up in their plan.
You’ll know you’ve been successful in ingraining the entrepreneurial spirit when your staff is creating and freely communicating new ideas and possibilities that demand your performance as a leader.