As leaders, we know offering professional development opportunities to employees benefits individuals and the organization. It improves performance, increases motivation, helps attract and retain top talent, and opens opportunities for new processes and technologies. In other words, professional development helps companies stay competitive. And in today’s crowded talent market, this is more important than ever.
But it can be difficult choosing what professional development to offer — industry, leadership, soft skills, etc. — because each of these is important to a person’s career advancement. But have you ever thought about how fostering an entrepreneurial mindset could help your team, and ultimately, your organization?
Entrepreneurial qualities are excellent attributes because they reflect a proactive, resourceful and self-motivated approach to work. Entrepreneurship is about problem solving while adjusting to critical feedback, remaining flexible and pivoting when needed. Further, this training can be applied across the org chart, from your newest interns to senior management, i.e., it isn’t inherent to a select few; it can be learned.
There are several reasons why teaching the entrepreneurial mindset needs to be a part of every company’s professional development and recruitment strategies.
Problem solving. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who identified problems and developed solutions to solve those problems. Entrepreneurs are self-starters who take initiative and aren’t afraid to take risks. They can spot issues and take it upon themselves to solve those issues. This quality is particularly important in fast-paced, dynamic work environments where employees are expected to be proactive and take ownership of their work.
Listening to and implementing feedback. We’ve all heard the adage, “The customer is always right.” This goes deeper than customer service. Entrepreneurial training helps us understand that the voice of the customer is critical to developing product-market fit. When we think about employees, listening to and implementing feedback is critical to their ability to grow and evolve in their roles. Receiving feedback is hard, but with an entrepreneurial mindset, employees know that feedback increases their value.
Ability to pivot. Sometimes we get stuck in our ways and can’t shift quickly. We put a lot of time and energy into our work, and it can be hard to move on from something we feel passionately about. Entrepreneurs often have to adapt to changing circumstances quickly — i.e., pivot. This quality can also benefit employees in the workplace. Employees who can adjust to new situations and learn new skills quickly are valuable assets to any organization.
Creativity. When we think about the top culture companies in the world, they are often rooted in an entrepreneurial mindset — yes, it’s more than just a fridge stocked with Red Bull. Entrepreneurs are innovative thinkers who come up with new and original ideas. This creativity can also benefit employees in the workplace, where creative problem-solving and outside-the-box thinking are often highly valued.
If you’re wondering how to go about teaching an entrepreneurial mindset, there are all kinds of resources online. I recommend entrepreneur Steve Blank’s class. Bounce also offers our Aspiring Entrepreneur Program, which is available to individuals or is offered for licensing to external entities. ●
Jessica Sublett is CEO of Bounce Innovation Hub