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Let's start from scratch. You have established your company and you are expanding. What you need at this point is new employees, but how to differentiate between candidates who are entrepreneurs and those who bring entrepreneurial spirit to the table?
First of all, pay attention to the CVs the candidates submitted. See whether they had steady jobs or whether they ventured into start-ups, companies which have been at the inception and companies that are not in their field of expertise. Secondly, ask what their goals are. Chris Smith, of Harvard Business School states that those with entrepreneurial spirit will have slightly different answers from the entrepreneurs to the question what their future goals are. Differentiate between those who see a job as the opportunity to achieve their own aims from the people who look for the possibility to experiment, help the company grow and gain experience.
If you are starting from scratch, you can introduce the entrepreneurial spirit without too much effort, only if you select the right people. Bear in mind that this is much more easier on paper. But how to nurture entrepreneurial spirit in already-established large businesses?
Entrepreneurship As a Mindset
Everyone can start a company nowadays. But just because you take care of the administration and have the idea, it doesn't make you an entrepreneur. It is important to realize that entrepreneurs are those who are pursuing the opportunities at hand and who make things happen.
If you are a top dog in a strong, profitable company, you can turn everyone into an entrepreneur. Distribute the tasks equally and allow everyone to have a say. Also, encourage the employees to come up with ideas of what they would change in the company even if those suggestions are not the brightest. It is important that the people feel that they are contributing in different ways and not just slack off through their day.
You need to create a dynamic working environment. Sometimes, it is required from the employees to work as a team, whereas it can be more beneficial for the people to compete. Bear in mind that you need to put this under scrutiny, or the things can get out of hand. Cherish their competitive side and they will be more productive and come up with the new ideas of how to "beat" their rivals, i.e. co-workers.
For an hour or two per day, the employees can work on group or individual side projects. Innovations are why the companies are growing and stay relevant on the market. Usually, in big companies which have a developed hierarchy, this side of the job can be lost in the process. Try to keep it alive by assigning individual projects and giving your employees time to focus on a particular task which requires creativity and thinking outside the box.
With the entrepreneurial spirit carefully nourished, your company will raise to the new heights and steer clear of disasters! Is there something you would add to the list?