Skip to content →

Tag: OD

Why entrepreneurs succeed: don’t forget the third reason

Reason 1 : Obstacles may not really be obstacles

What really drives entrepreneurs?  In short, they look around and say “I can do this better!”  You and I see a constraint or barrier and see it as fixed.  An entrepreneur says:  “This can go.  I can take it away. I can ignore it. I could use it as a vaulting-horse and jump over it.”

Reason 2 :  Organize to take the profit

What makes a successful economic entrepreneur is that they also notice that they can rejig the working arrangements and take the profit themselves:  “All the better for making me better off!”

Reason 3:  Don’t forget reason 3

So, entrepreneurs are “in” the game and they see an opportunity.  Then, they notice how to rearrange the game to seize the opportunity for themselves.

But, they don’t stop there.  They do something else that is critical to their success.  They rally people to help them win.

Entrepreneurship is competitive.  Even if entrepreneurs are not about to bring their old industry or business to its knees, they are going to become more important than their former colleagues and bosses.  A certainty of entrepreneurial life is that whomever is going to lose out or become less important than them will fight back!

Make sure people are better off with them than against them

And, so it should be.  Why should others stand back and give up their right and impulse to compete! This is why rallying a team is so important to entrepreneurial success.  In essence, an entrepreneur wants to make sure people are better off with them than against them.

This is the skill that psychologists can help teach entrepreneurs.

  • We will let you spot the opportunity in the business that you are in.
  • We will let accountants help you figure out the business structure and financing.
  • What we do is help you learn that all important skill:  to build a team where people are better off with you than against you!

 ACADEMIC REFERENCE

Power as Practice: A Micro-sociological Analysis of the Dynamics of Emancipatory Entrepreneurship
David Goss, Robert Jones, Michela Betta and James Latham
Organization Studies, 2011, 32
[Downloadable from David Goss’ homepage at Surrey]

One Comment

In politics, motivation isn’t important

In politics, motivation doesn’t matter

A political science professor once said to me “In politics, motivation doesn’t matter.”  I don’t think I have ever really understood that until I read the current Economist debate on “Who is leading the fight against climate change?”

Pro: Peggy Liu
“For Chinese people who see, smell and touch pollution every day, climate change leadership is closely related to personal health.” Read more

Con: Max Schulz
“China is not pursuing lower energy consumption per unit of GDP because of warming. It is pursuing it because it wants to be rich.” Read more

Does it matter why the Chinese reduce emissions. Surely if emissions are important then it is just important that they do?

How much credence do you give to motivation?

I’m trying to figure this out here.

I think that maybe when we feel out-of-control that we look for sound lasting relationships.

We are more likely to manage by outcomes when we have control.

What gives us a feeling of control?  Knowledge, a well-developed world view, the temperament of no-drama Obama, a willingness to accept that other people will act in their own interests?

Another spiral effect, I think. We trust because we trust.  And we don’t trust because we don’t trust.

Maybe when we worry about the motivation of others, we should stop and list all the factors that ARE under our control.  What can we count on?  How would we see the world then?

Am I on the right track?

Leave a Comment

Belbin’s team roles: know yours and value others

Too much energy for one person

I’m an energetic person with an eye for opportunity and slightly neurotic streak.  It’s is not surprising that my main roles come out at

  • Shaper – is what being done important and is what important being done!
  • Completer/Finisher  – have all the important details been attended to and will we finish on time?
  • Resource/Investigator -who should we and could we know and what can we do that we couldn’t do yesterday?

Exuberant, enthusiast, loyal and kind – that’s how people describe me.

Everything has a flip side

But not necessarily tactful.  Unlike Britons described by BBC yesterday, I can’t lie ‘for toffee’.  I’m also the type that departs the beaten track and climbs over a challenging course just for the hell of it.

When I was younger, I knew that I wasn’t a ‘hale fellow, well met” sort of person.  Everyone who had taken a short cut or conned anyone or been faintly dull felt ‘criticized’ by my preferences.  I knew that I didn’t have a sharp grasp of fashion but I thought I wasn’t a ‘people’ person.

We surround ourselves with opposites to balance our preferences

By the time, I was an active student leader at University, I was wise enough to include a gregarious, easy-going person on every one of my teams.  I would think up the ideas and run them past my ‘people’ person to make sure they would be well received.

The names of roles and their pros and cons are formalized in the ‘Belbin’

It was only much later, as I encountered the Belbin (and taught the Belbin) that I realized my instincts were spot on.  I had brought in ‘team players’ to balance me.

And it was only then that I understood that all team players show characteristic weaknesses.  I had observed that but I didn’t know it was predictable.

Teamplayers don’t get down to work very easily.   They might not even do their share of work. And they are dreadful negotiators. They think they are wonderful but they tend to give everything away.  For the life of them, they cannot hold the line.  To say ‘no’ might make them unpopular and they can’t stand that.

Disadvantages or not – I want opposites on my team

But I still want a team player on my team.  They keep the peace.  They don’t complain.  They are careful with other people’s feelings.

Team players are essential in every office

In one place that I worked, we had a long corridor and my office was about one-third of the way down from reception.  When our receptionist went away, I would hear the noise gradually increase.  Once I even slammed my own filing cabinet drawer shut, thinking as I did just how unpleasantly noisy our office was!  Then I caught myself.  Pleasantness and unpleasantness is contagious.  Without our team player, tempers were rising and little incidents of bad temper were being sparked like bush fires after a long drought.  Amazingly, in a team, who should know better, people were often unkind to our team player and complained she wasted time chatting.  No, she didn’t. She was the lubricant that kept the office turning.

I want a team player and I don’t even mind if they do less work than everyone else.  I can do thinking – I will anyway.  I can double check their work – I will anyway!  I can do the unpleasant chores.  It doesn’t bother me.  I’ll even be firm with them and tell them I will do the negotiating because they are no darn good at it!

But I want them there.  They keep us sane.

Do you know the team roles you prefer playing and will always choose when you can?

The Belbin test can be googled but it is heavily copyrighted.  You aren’t likely to find a full copy on the web.  I think I will put up some old lecture notes on Slideshare for you and I’ll use the occasion to check out Prezi.  So book mark this post and come back in a few days to see if it is done.

I strongly recommend you ‘name’ your preferred roles and explore the upsides and downsides of our own style.  Moreover, check out the roles played by people who annoy you.  You will see why you need them so badly!

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: