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¿Cómo destruir el espíritu emprendedor en una empresa?

mayo 3, 2013

Me ha encantado este artículo que me he encontrado en un curso que estoy haciendo. Os los recomiendo. Es breve pero muy claro y muy cierto.

You can’t go it alone
Howard H. Stevenson
Senior Associate Dean, Harvard Business School

Over the years, my field of study has been entrepreneurship. I’ve worked in a lot of companies and been on a lot of boards — probably 30, 35 boards over the years. Everybody wants to be an entrepreneur. There’s a great glory in it now. When I was a student, nobody even used the word “entrepreneurship.” And I can remember one of my senior colleagues telling me the purpose of business school was to replace the entrepreneurs. But in fact now this is so important in life.

But when you ask yourself, ‘How do I survive as an entrepreneur inside the company?’ – I don’t know. But I do know you can kill entrepreneurship in any organization.

The first thing is, you maximize competition. You need people to work together. If you think of the purpose of business, it’s to accomplish things through a group of people that no individuals can accomplish by themselves.

The second thing is, many people who are starting a business, they think they know the answer. So you tightly control all the initiatives. That will never work. More brains are always better than only one brain — although not everyone agrees with that.

A third thing that people often do is they say, “Let’s punish failure severely. We only want successful people.” If you’ve gotten to my age and haven’t failed at a few things, you probably have not tried. And punishing failure within organizations simply says to your best people, “Take on the safest problem.”
Now one of the things, if you’re trying to create organizations in the company that are going to succeed, the company’s going to get the reward. So you don’t want to asymmetrically say, “We win if you win, and you lose if you lose.” You really need to make sure that people understand that failure is a possibility, and they know in advance how you’re going to deal with it.

The fourth thing is dancing to the Wall Street tune: maximizing short-term profits. We all know how you can cut costs, it’s the story of the farmer whose horse was eating too much and he thought he could train the horse to eat less. So he just gave him a little less food every day, and when he got him down to eating practically nothing, the damn thing up and died. And in fact, trying to maximize short-term profits often means you’re not investing.

And of course the last thing you can do to kill entrepreneurship is real easy. Make sure you make all the important decisions.

These kinds of things, if you’re trying to build a business within a business, you can’t model yourself on the “I can do it all by myself” entrepreneur. First, very few of them succeed either. You really need to understand you’re building a team whose purpose is to serve your customer at a profit.
Building a business within a business is a team process.

Howard H. Stevenson is Sarofim-Rock Baker Foundation Professor, Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing, and Chair of the Harvard Business Publishing Company board. The Sarofim-Rock Chair was established in 1982 to provide a continuing base for research and teaching in the field of entrepreneurship.
Previously, he served as the Vice Provost for Harvard University Resources and Planning and as Senior Associate Provost. He was also the Senior Associate Dean and Director of External Relations at Harvard Business School from 2001 to 2005. Professor Stevenson was a founder and the first President of the Baupost Group, Inc. which manages partnerships investing in liquid securities for wealthy families.
He has authored, edited, or co-authored 11 books and 42 articles. Some of his co-authored titles include “New Business Ventures and the Entrepreneur” with Michael J. Roberts and H. Irving Grousbeck; “Policy Formulation and Administration” with C.R. Christensen, N. Berg and M. Salter; and “The Entrepreneurial Venture” with William Sahlman. His scholarly papers have appeared in publications such as Sloan Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Real Estate Review, and Journal of Business Venturing.
He received his Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Stanford University, and both his Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Business Administration degrees from Harvard University.

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