The Alliance Between Entrepreneurship And Uncertainty
Entrepreneurship is a distinctive approach to effectively managing people, resources, culture and values—rather than managing a specific stage in an organisation’s life cycle — with an innate realisation that the resources controlled are, and perhaps will, remain insufficient to do so
In Professor Stevenson, the godfather of entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, says, “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond the resources you currently control.” I think this definition completely embodies, in itself, the entire essence and journey of the entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is a distinctive approach to effectively managing people, resources, culture and values—rather than managing a specific stage in an organisation’s life cycle — with an innate realisation that the resources controlled are, and perhaps will, remain insufficient to do so. I had a certain set of expectations when I set out on my path to work, and I also thought through how I’d like my efforts to pan out. But after being in the driving seat for around two decades in a family-owned business, I had my fair share of hits and misses.
Over the past 17 years, I had the privilege of witnessing our family businesses grow by about 5,000 percent. I am fortunate to have lived through this entrepreneurial roller-coaster, because this journey is a rendition of not just academic resources, but also deeply embedding the realities of business decision-making beyond any playbook. Surely one rule helps you through the entire game: “Don’t crack under pressure.”
Some key characteristics always remain a part of an entrepreneurial journey, as they define the challenges that one can look forward to. The key challenge is managing uncertainty and volatility. Most critical decision-making has challenges. I strongly relate this to my story, because at every moment, a business leader is expected to make decisions that decide the direction of a business in view of financial uncertainty, execution uncertainty and demand uncertainty. In any new venture, there remains a palpable feeling of risk, and we tend to look around for a constant validation of our moves. And more so, when we have stakeholders to whom we want to deliver.
Also, a company’s culture mostly flows from the top. It is this underlying fabric that holds the workplace together. The typical challenges that remain in organisations are how to percolate the idea of culture and customer centricity. And how does one create that underlying fabric of values at the workplace? That is precisely where an entrepreneur’s role will hold utmost importance. It is at such junctures when one decides about the blend of cultural effectiveness versus opera-tional effectiveness.
Businesses run on effective resource mobilisation and utilisation. One of the key resources is capital. As work routines set in, one does tend to manage human capital and financial capital, but innovation capital may remain left out. What is most pertinent to understand is that there will always be a difference between the plan one begins with and the journey to the final destination. It will be this journey that defines entrepreneurship. Business plans may flounder, projections may break, and circumstances may rigorously test direction and resilience, but it is the will of the entrepreneur to always move forward.
Helping me do this is the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global community of leading business owners. By stepping up in a member leadership role, I can help others navigate the uncertainty of entrepreneurship, while continuing to learn and grow as a leader myself. By aligning with EO’s core values — Boldly Go, Cool, Thirst for Learning, Trust and Respect, and Make a Mark — I intend to help improve the lives and businesses of my entrepreneurial peers. It will be a tough journey, but it will be a worthwhile one as we strengthen entrepreneurship in the region.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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