I have always been an entrepreneur. Since a young age, I wanted to start my own company. Especially during my MBA, I never understood why most people aspired to work in a large enterprise. But times have changed. Today, the startup culture is thriving. Millennials aspire to work in startups. And large enterprises want to become more like startups. I think that makes large enterprises more interesting.
If you start a company, you attract entrepreneurial people. People who want to help start or grow the company and are willing to take some risk. Entrepreneurial people take initiative, get stuff done, are action-oriented and are willing to break some rules. They want to bring their souls to the company. The larger you get, the more you attract people who seek stability. They want to know how their job will look tomorrow. They want to know what their career path is. They want to know what the company can bring them.
Now if you are a growing or large organization, how do you keep or create this entrepreneurial, agile mindset? It’s tough! First of all, you need people who see and understand what I just wrote. They should be willing to break the rules and drive the change. Second, you need to hire more people who understand this. You cannot drive such change top down and tell people ‘Now get up, break the rules, innovate and take ownership’. Well…you can tell them, but most will say ‘yes’, turn around and get back to business as usual. Third, you need to let go of the people who don’t understand this.
Entrepreneurship brings the change that we need as human beings. Without it, we’d still be living in cages.
One of the ideals in an Agile organization is self-organization. We want to empower people to make their own decisions. We expect people to set their own priorities, get them done and keep us updated. In short: as leaders, we want our teams to keep us ‘comfortable’.
During 2020, I’ve been engaged in several larger transformations in Indonesia. Most companies focus on creating digital innovation. To achieve this, they create new ways of working and structures to become more agile. Agile is the ‘engine’ to create new products on services.