Preconditions for an Entrepreneurial Society

Means, Motive & Opportunity are the three preconditions mentioned in this HBR article by Julian Birkinshaw.

In 1985 Peter Drucker argued for a shift toward an entrepreneurial society, one where “executives in all institutions…make innovation and entrepreneurship a normal, ongoing everyday activity.” This intentionally broad view requires a fundamental change in mindset. Drucker was pushing us to think and act less like employees taking orders and more like free agents, alert and responsive to opportunities whether we work in a startup or in a large corporation.

Thirty years on, how far have we progressed toward Drucker’s entrepreneurial society?

There is a common theme here. While technology, commercial acumen, and social norms have evolved dramatically over the last 50 years, the institutions that govern capitalism are still stuck in the late 19th century. We are using industrial-age rules to oversee information-age business practices, and that is what is holding us back. I have written elsewhere about the need for management innovation in large firms to make work more engaging and fulfilling. An equally pressing need is for institutional innovation at a societal level so that today’s would-be entrepreneurs have the means, the motive, and the opportunity to succeed.

Read the full article here


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