The time for New Year resolutions is here again, not sure if we're all up for the challenge as we can expect more intensified competition, more uncertainty both in politics and economicsl and more disruptive re-organization for all big companies. It is the time for self-reflection and thinking about what do you really want to accomplish this year and what how to bring out the best in you. If you’re an emerging manager or young leader you should read this.
Drop whatever idea you might have of "what is a manager" in your mind. You don't want to be a "manager". Manager is really not the right title although “managing” is part of the job but a smaller part of it. You are a manager, a knowledge worker, a leader and an entrepreneur. It is easy to learn the skills of being a manager, but very hard to be a great leader and an entrepreneur.
Let me clarify. An entrepreneur doesn’t mean you should be running your own business or start-up; what I am talking is a state of mind. Look around you, do you find a lot of “entrepreneurs” around you? Is your team comprised of people who take ownership of any project or task that comes across their desk or inbox and apply design thinking skills to accomplish them? Do they embrace complex challenges, team skills, and take personal responsibility – for successes and failures alike? Do they think about the good of the larger them than optimzign for their own career gain? Do they provide leadership even they do not have the formal authority?
Corporate entrepreneurs are basically innovators. These “innopreneurs” are hard to find and it is far more difficult to be a corporate entrepreneur than a start-up person. It is relatively easy to say let’s have your start-up and honestly most of them are no more than just an excuse or a way to escape. Entrepreneurship is not about proving a job for yourself, it is about aligning your passion with the right capability and resources that link that to a big idea that create economic value. And not afraid of the challenge of working with the elephant.
A corporate entrepreneur s someone who works in a large corporate setting and his/her job is to create new growth opportunities from coming with the big ideas to launching/managing a corporate venture that is distinct from the parent company either at an adjacency or something that could disrupt the corporate parent. He/she needs to be creative about how to leverage the parent’s assets, market position, core capabilities, brand, channel or other resources. I am estimating that less than 1% of corporate managers are corporate entrepreneurial material or has the quality to sustain as one.
“Corporate innopreneurship” requires the following attributes: (1) a leader that are comfortably to act without authority; (2) a design thinker that enjoy solving complex business challenges with limited information; (3) a manager who understands his everyday job is to resolve dilemmas and not just dreamers; (4) an explorer who can navigate even there are changes in scenarios; and (5) an organizer who can manage people and resources in an agile manner. Every company needs a few of these to achieve innovation-led growth. Everyday I look around me and try to identify them. The difference may be not only the way they think and self-motivate, but they way they’re being nurtured.
If last year wasn't a great one for you, don't think back. No one can go back in time to change what has happened. So work on your present to make yourself a wonderful future. Happy New Year!