Entrepreneurism in Millennial is a Key Competency
Authentic Leadership Inspires Entrepreneurial Talents
Today’s dynamic marketplace realities demand organizations to respond with agility by drawing on the imagination and brainpower of their human talents, encouraging them to innovate and improvise quickly and rewarding them for their initiative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Technology and globalization are forces creating the new competitive talentscape. Where once a company can operate safely within well-defined industry boundaries, with a clear idea of competitors, now both competitors and substitutes are not clearly defined, and they can come from anywhere, any industry, and any nation. To navigate in this environment, organisations need talents with strategic flexibility, mentored and molded by visionary leadership. They need to develop the dynamic core competencies to create and re-create innovations of all kinds, especially as they seek to compete in “blue oceans” where their traditional and legacy competitors do not exist at all.
The recent decades of the 21st century are full of hitherto successful companies and organisations imprisoned by their “inability to escape the past” or the “failure to create a new future”, and both. Trapped in their vainglorious past with no coherent pictures of possible futures, many organizations languished in the self-deluding hope that the new competitive trends, powered by rapid advances in new media and mobile technology, new life-styles and new forms of organizations, will be merely passing fads that would eventually fizzle out. This is denial; and they ended in the throes of oblivion as their only certain fate.
Unable to escape the past, many organizations retreat to the comfort of unparallel track record of successes that enable the accumulation of abundant resources and aligning expectations and performance in the belief that resources will win out. They substitute creativity with more resources, and are contented with current performance.
Companies failed to create a new future by insisting on optimising business systems with time-tested recipes whose past successes confirmed strategy but are now vulnerable to the new realities because they mistook momentum for leadership, and did not re-invent and update visionary leadership for current and continuous relevance.
These companies are often slow-moving and uninspiring places to work because they are obsessed with bureaucratic red-tape and internal politics, and therefore unable to sustainably deliver the high expectations which their past successes engendered.
Today millennial talents watch in disbelief and bewilderment as uninvolved bystanders when they experience their companies falling heads over heels in grasping ineffectively with the new competitive environment. The helplessness of their companies unable to escape the past and failing to create new futures could lead easily to paralysis in talent management.
Millennials desiring meaningful purpose with a wellness life-style balance beyond just a salaried job career can be challenged by entrepreneurial leaders to nurture their own entrepreneurism by stepping out of their comfort zones and engage the risks of hitherto unconventional solutions. They are often aware of their strengths and passions through introspection, learning and discovery to chart intentional actions toward impact outcome. Harvesting the quality of entrepreneurism in millennial talent will develop the entrepreneurial organization necessary to emerge victorious in the looming business rcession.
Entrepreneurial organizations are those whose corporate culture embraces the art of continuous innovation, defined as the ability to constantly discover, create, capture, and exploit new opportunities. The new competitive realities demanding the exploration of new opportunities are increasingly vital for business success, especially “blue ocean” value innovations that refresh organizations with new products and services for the “non-customers”.
The emergent millennial entrepreneurism is already defining and leading cultural changes in the way organizations (and startups) develop, share, interact and engage innovations for the transformed marketplace.
Innovations are driven by the synergy of thinking that is empowered by the interaction of people with diverse knowledge, disciplines, experiences, and values. The continuous sharing of new knowledge defines the heart of most innovations, through the essence of collaboration and learning. This is a unique value preference of the millennial workforce.
Entrepreneurship (and intrapreneurship) attracts the talented because it offers tremendous opportunities in rapid learning to make significant personal impact. Often, the lessons from inevitable failures during the entrepreneurial journey produce a profound sense of ownership that fuses vision and commitment to produce the ultimate performance that exceeds initial expectations. Systematic coaching and mentoring experiences with passionate and visionary leaders can invoke intense curiosity in the millennial talents through meaningful activities that challenge them to learn co-operatively, share ideas and insights, and to think without mental boxes.
Welcome the Future Everyday!
Yes, the future is today … and tomorrow is, well, already yesterday! Sounds confusing? You are not alone. The turbulent environments of the new competitive landscape have in effect created widespread paradoxical conditions inside the old mindsets. One paradox is “The Red Queen” effect, after the Red Queen in the Alice in Wonderland story, where one has to run increasingly faster just to stay put or maintains one’s current position.
A mindset change in the millennial talent “sees” technology as an “environment”, instead of a tool, that can impact the competition by disrupting the “time-space” value canvas in that environment before creating “space/time-savings” using new IT, social media apps against the backdrop of a new strategic value canvas.
The competitive marketplace has become a series of races to overcome the next hurdles and invent the evermore-better-and-useful product. The focus is on the dynamic core competency of inventing new products faster or better than others or at a rate faster than most. Or better still, to side-step the competitors in the “red ocean” and create a non-competing “alternative” product/service in the “blue ocean” where competition does not yet exist.
Lost in the new strategic mega-space, many desperate companies resorted to the “big is beautiful” solution of the 1970s’ and 1980’s to repeat the spate of familiar high-stake mergers and acquisitive alliances. Others are stunned into reviewing their “core competencies” and rapidly discarded businesses which they do not consider “core”, never mind profitable or not, according to some meaningless accounting ratios and historical criteria. These measures have limited effectiveness, and they are also grossly misdirected in addressing and engaging the onslaught of the new wave of transformative competitive realities.
At the core of the new entrepreneurial organization populated by millennial talents will grow the conscious agility that will engage and embrace the new competitive realities with the ability to innovate and grow. Exceptional leaders can harvest the entrepreneurism in their millennial talents for the key competency to realise their vision of inspirational workplaces that would endure beyond the 21st century.
The imperative to venture outside the comfort box and build entrepreneurial organizations is the greatest challenge facing leadership and talent; and especially for those who are willing and daring enough to offer authentic leadership to infuse a sense of future purpose that appeals to this 21st century epoch of the millennial workforce who is imbued and driven by the entrepreneurial spirit, and quality of entrepreneurism.