Seven Keys to Shaping the Entrepreneurial Organization

Seven Keys to Shaping the Entrepreneurial Organization

This post is excerpted from “Seven Keys to Shaping the Entrepreneurial Organization.”

Shaping the entrepreneurial organization is not a difficult process when growth, strongly supported by the founders and the top management team, is well planned and constantly reinforced. When these conditions exist, a seven-step approach can be used to implement the process and achieve the desired results.

These seven steps are:

1) Hire self-motivated people

When trying to build a solid business, most of us don’t have the time or skills to create motivation in others where it doesn’t already exist, so we need to structure our selection process to find those who are self-motivated.

2) Help others be successful

If you want a “we’re all in this together” mentality, you must create one! To do so, you must find out the goals, dreams, and aspirations of your people. This means taking the time to ask and listen.

3) Create clarity in the organization

In his analysis of the successful growth of Marion Laboratories, Gerald W. Holder attributed much of the organization’s strength to an entrepreneurial leadership team that focused significant energy on creating clarity throughout the work force. The four clarities are: purpose, direction, structure and measurement.

4) Determine and communicate your own values and philosophies 

Consistent values provide a framework within which people can make the myriad of major and minor decisions required daily in their jobs.

5) Provide appropriate reward systems

Effective reward systems include all forms of compensation, plus the wide variety of other things that are important to people in a work setting, such as job assignment, recognition, growth and learning, additional responsibility, authority and autonomy.

6) Create an experimental learning attitude

The wise entrepreneur will encourage associates to experiment, to look for and try different ways to do a task better, to come up with novel solutions.

7) Celebrate your victories

We often fail to give our associates an opportunity to celebrate their association with the victories we enjoy in our business.  Simple, spontaneous joy can be great motivational fuel for that next challenge.


Marion Laboratories Inc.

In 1950, Ewing Marion Kauffman founded Marion Laboratories, Inc. in the basement of his home in Kansas City.  By the time of his death in 1993, “Mr. K,” as he was known throughout the Midwest, had built Marion into a company of 3,400 dedicated people with $1 Billion in sales and valued at more than $6 billion on the New York Stock Exchange. When the company merged with the Merrell Dow arm of Dow Chemical in 1989, more than 300 of his “associates” became millionaires as a result of his unique philosophy of sharing with those who produced the dramatic growth and profitability of the company.

Content contributed by KCSourceLink, a proud affiliate of U.S.SourceLink, America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.

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