Coming to an End of ENT610 – Wk7

Coming to an end of the Entrepreneurial Creation course, I am pleased with the usefulness of the education.  There is a lot of focus on Marketing and Budgeting for a business.  Coursework and reading materials provided guidance regarding models and best practices. The student feedback allowed for different perspectives and interpretations of marketing.  While I have engaged in marketing activities in my career, it was nice to be introduced to new tools.  While not all tools are needed all the time, many marketers often stick with what has already been created or is easiest to create their plans.  I enjoyed experiencing tools that go beyond the typical.

Since I work in a corporate setting, people ask me why I am attending an entrepreneurial program.  The reality is that large corporations have realized that they are not flexible and innovative enough to compete well with start-ups.  Consider Walmart.  While it remains the worlds largest retailer, it also had to acquire its way into digital.  Through purchases of various companies, it is feverishly working to catch up with Amazon.  The companies purchased by Walmart were all start-ups. 

I have also met many people that work in ecommerce, digital, innovation and other similar named groups within large corporations. These groups represent a creation of capabilities focused in areas the corporations are lacking.  As a Traditionalist when it comes to business, I see the creation of these separate groups an admission of gaps in existing structures and personnel. I have been a part of and have led these types of groups. In every case, the group was created to build something that did not exist.

The biggest challenge to being entrepreneurial inside large corporations is culture. People are typically resistant to change. Also, people can be easily offended by change, viewing it as an admission that they failed in their roles. Another issue is incentives and how employee incentives are tied to focusing on traditional practices versus embracing new ones. Being entrepreneurial is exciting and can be quite fun, but larger companies come with historical behaviors that are very comfortable.

Which brings me to why I am in an entrepreneurial program. I utilize my entrepreneurial practices and preferences to help build capabilities inside businesses.  The creation of more flexible and adaptive teams allows corporations to compete more readily in the market.  My biggest career successes have all been related to creation of new opportunities and revenue streams.  While I do hope to have my own business(es) one day, my current need and use of this program is to improve my own entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.