Adopt the right attitude: tenacity, inventiveness and economy

Developing our activity requires financial means. But our fragile enterprise still has to prove itself before convincing a banker…

There is no shortage of occasions to feel discouraged…

Adopting a good attitude is essential: remaining positive, tenacious, inventive, staying on course while keeping in mind our vision and being economical with our means at the start…

The baker has found a way of distributing the bread he's baked in his kitchen, at less cost, in the local supermarket...

  1. What qualities do entrepreneurs have?

    Managers need to have certain qualities that enable them to carry out their role:

    • Information level: active observer, circulating information, spokesperson
    • Inter-personal contact level: as both leader and liaison officer
    • Decision-action level: as an entrepreneur, allocate resources, manage disruptions and negotiate
    All these roles have been clearly defined in Henri Mintzberg's work.

    That said, there is an important difference between Operational managers who apply an existing Model and Transformation managers who invent the new Models: an Entrepreneur is, first and foremost, a Transformation manager.

    Entrepreneurship, whether it is within one's own Enterprise or starting up an enterprise requires knowing how to live with uncertainty.

    Starting an Enterprise is an obstacle course: the Entrepreneur will be faced with a host of unexpected situations in which he or she will have to make quick decisions without having all the facts.

    1. Entrepreneurs are creative

      The main quality is creativity: entrepreneurs need to find a competitive advantage, that is to be able to define an original Offer, or to provide the same Offer as the others do at a lower cost, which requires creating an original Operation Model. Not only do they have to be able to, they must also strongly believe they can.
    2. They know how to question their objectives to adapt them to the realities

      That said, experience show that the first steps often lead to adapting the Offer in function of the reactions of the first prospects or customers: being convinced does not mean being obtuse. We have to keep the backbone, the principles that we do not want to depart from, and adapt the Offer taking into account the customers' reactions.
    3. They accept having to take risks

      Entrepreneurs cannot apply the principle of precaution: it is impossible to guarantee that an enterprise start-up will succeed. We can even say that failures are more common than successes. They must therefore know how to take initiatives, be self-confident, autonomous and not give up at the first hurdle.

      We grow with each happy or unhappy experience if we know how to learn lessons from what we have been through. Taking risks is rewarded as, even if we fail, we come out stronger for the next time (discussed in part in The Lean Startup by Eric Ries; it is also the subject of "the learning organization" by Peter Senge).

    4. They have an enormous amount of energy and tenacity

      Starting up an Enterprise requires a huge amount of energy in very diverse domains: designing the offer, organizing its distribution, sales activities, management, seeking financial resources, managing staff, legal and accounting aspects...
      The challenges:
      • Sales: how do we convince reticent prospects to trust a start-up?
      • Team: how do we identify talents and get them to accept this adventure when we cannot offer high salaries?
      • Management: how do we control spending even when the first successes are there?
      • Finance: how do we find sources of funding even though we do not inspire confidence?
      • Legal: how do we build contracts that protect a budding Enterprise?
      Entrepreneurs have very diverse profiles, but they all have an above-average energy potential to progressively solve these different challenges.
    5. They have a permanent will to learn

      The worst danger that lies in wait for Entrepreneurs is self-satisfaction: many Entrepreneurs let the initial success go to their heads and did not know how to monitor changes in the Market. Entrepreneurs have to be permanently curious: they have to seek to understand what the others are doing well, to use it to their advantage in their own development.
  2. What attitude does the Transformation team have?

    The Transformation team should be in harmony with the attitude of its manager.
    • It accepts uncertainty
    • It knows how to work hard, without counting the hours, in crucial periods such as new Product launches.
    • It is very supportive: it is important to help team members in difficulty.
    • It seeks to develop its Competence and not to obtain a hierarchical position.
    • It celebrates every success!
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