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Help Employees With Entrepreneurship

Employees in an organization are increasingly called upon to demonstrate 'entrepreneurship and self-management'. What are we talking about and above all, what can executives, managers, bosses, foremen, project leaders, team leaders, group elders and department heads do to make it possible? After all, from their formal position they're responsible for the functioning of a group of people and for a working process.These managers are increasingly being asked to enable employees to display entrepreneurial behavior, to look aside when initiatives are developed that are good for the organization, but which don't at the same time match the existing rules, structures and systems. They must create the conditions for others to be enterprising. Entrepreneurship is the attempt to create something new by dreaming, looking for opportunities, daring and trying new things together with others. The classic definition of entrepreneurship usually also states that they do it with the intention of earning money. But earning doesn't have to mean monetary gain. It can also be about remedying an abuse that bothers you.

Enable entrepreneurial behavior

This can be done by: giving confidence, being a sponsor for enterprising employees. Also by supporting unsolicited initiatives, not wanting to interfere with everything, giving away responsibilities and the associated powers, giving time and space, ensuring aid structures and, above all, removing obstacles.

The manager is the person who ensures that the good is done well in daily work. It's the person who's constructively looking for the best way, within the rules, but who doesn't forget his own responsibility. It's someone who believes that he / she's there to set the course of the organizational unit and, above all, to have it executed. In other words, it's someone who can think without being stuck in everything that already is, but who can think of new ways. It's someone who also makes decisions, even if they aren't fun, but they're necessary.

When the personal goals of the employees are highly congruent with the goals of the organization, and partly as a result of this there's a relative order, the stimulation of internal entrepreneurship must be regarded as an effective means of increasing the productivity of the organization.

In that area, people are willing to set themselves goals that require an amount of energy that managers usually only dare to dream about. There are plenty of examples: with sports amateurs, fitness training, mountain climbers, with hobbies such as ballet and music, when going on holiday and the like. Sometimes so much energy is put into those activities that not much remains for 'daytime'.

Facilitating internal entrepreneurship is a means to try to further increase the congruence between personal and organizational goals. An internal entrepreneurship-promoting climate ensures that employees feel - and still want - to use their energy for a long time and intensively to achieve the goals of the organization in which they feel at home.

In concrete terms, such a climate can be achieved by designing the working environment in such a way that it meets the following characteristics of an organization:

- Managers dominate output
- With regard to the process (throughput), the manager 'limits' himself to conditioning and facilitating the work; (so: rules and procedures according to the 80/20 rule)
- The leader invests in (internal) relationships and vertical face-to-face communication;
- Internal business is anchored in the recruitment, selection, assessment and reward system.

The enterprising employee gets things done

However, an entrepreneurship-friendly climate alone isn't enough to achieve the desired productivity. Employees must also want to behave like internal entrepreneurs.

It's the people who:

- see possibilities
- not too many yes-buts
- have positive energy
- have a passion for what they do
- others can enthuse
- understand and play the context in which they function.

Entrepreneurial employees have a fair amount of self-insight and are capable of self-management. They do this by proactively using their own talent, passion and conscience for a greater purpose than self-interest.

Provide a helping context

Working in an organization requires both intuition and careful analysis. However, bureaucracies try to banish intuition and replace it with mechanical rules tailored to the most clumsy individual. Sometimes enterprising employees are needed to expose rigid rules, to develop new initiatives. Managers must give these enterprising employees the opportunity, otherwise the rules of 'yesterday' will prevail.

Not only systems make it difficult for enterprising employees, but the culture of the organization can also hinder. Functioning in an organization is subject to many views about what should and shouldn't be. Everyone conforms to a certain extent to the views that exist about matters such as desired productivity, respect for customers / clients, manners, manner of exercising power, whether or not they're allowed to tutor each other, the approachability of the manager or the degree of required consultation between management and employees. These are all things that can hinder the enterprising employee from picking up something he's worth doing. In other words, it's about whether the culture is stimulating or hindering enterprising employees to take action.

Self-management isn't self-evident

Self-management stands for employees who know what to do, who take risks and learn from their mistakes, who don't shy away from responsibility, check their own work, find solutions to problems, who want to cooperate with others in the organization.

It also stands for managers who give space, don't interfere with everything, so they give up power. This's in contrast to the hierarchical organization, where people do what they're told to do, where they try to avoid mistakes, where they hide for responsibility, where they look up to the boss, where the others are blamed when things go wrong. In the hierarchical organization, the manager is central. He knows better, he has the powers.

The leader arranges a number of conditions for self-management

Self-management is only possible when sufficient information is shared. People can't act responsibly without having information. It requires that the organizational structure is minimized, so that one can work self-directed. The paradox is that autonomy is created by setting limits.

The boundary in a culture of self-management is, for example, the form of a shared vision, of shared goals, of rules about decision-making and the way in which accountability is given. Within limits, team members can decide what to do and how to approach it. It's an approach that only works when employees are committed.

Self-management is therefore only possible if every employee knows, understands and accepts the mission of the organization. Furthermore, employees must have the necessary skills. Third, employees have access to information related to both the work itself and the context in which it's performed. Finally, trust plays a major role. Trust that one isn't unreasonably punished for setbacks or mistakes that go hand in hand with initiative. Many things in which the leader has a role to play, because he must ensure that some of the conditions mentioned are met.

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