Making Entrepreneurs Out of Employees

by Joe Lavelle on October 29, 2012

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When you think about the entrepreneurs that operate within a corporation, perhaps you don’t automatically think about the guy in accounting who works four cubicles down from you.  The word “entrepreneur” invokes images of Bill Gates or Donald Trump or another titan of the business world to whom the world looks for innovation and leadership advice.  But, more and more large companies are embracing the idea of seeing the entrepreneurial potential in every employee.  Why discredit any possible source of a great idea?

Now, it’s safe to assume that every corporation is going to have a certain percentage of employees that have no desire to make a name for themselves and simply want to do the job asked of them from 9 to 5 and then go home.  But, Katherine Reynolds Lewis shares in a recent article that there are ways for management to encourage a culture of innovation in every person on the payroll, at least whose wish to take advantage of such an opportunity.

For instance, Lewis points to the fact that Google allows its employees one day a week to play around with new ideas outside of their normal work responsibilities.  There is also the notion that the entrepreneurial spirit can be taught, and is not necessarily a trait with which we are born.  If you take the time to train your employees on how to develop ideas and allow them access to the ins and outs of the business in order to see for themselves where needs can be met, you might be paving the way for an employee-driven initiative that revolutionizes your corporation.

Check out her article to read all of her suggestions as well as some of the challenges that a company faces in recreating the entrepreneurial spirit on a large scale.

Do you work at, or lead, a business that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit in every employee?  What are some practices that make such an effort work?

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