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The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Strategies for Continuously Creating Opportunity in an Age of Uncertainty Hardcover – August, 2000
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Among the many action plans present in this text, the most valuable and applicable across the board is that of monitoring your own behavior as an entrepreneurial leader by using climate-setting practices and orchestrating practices. “Your behavior as an entrepreneurial leader impacts the search of opportunity in your own organization.” As a manager, to create an environment in which everyone is looking for new opportunity, one must also be practicing this themselves by dedicating a large amount of their own time to creation of new business models while also crafting the way their team maps out new opportunities. The practices of climate-setting and orchestrating, are essentially strategy-specific ways of rolling up one’s sleeves and being an example of the work that is expected. This segment truly shows the importance of doing so.
Another standout action plan from The Entrepreneurial Mindset is that of quizzing, as leaders must learn to never stop asking questions and challenging barriers. To better understand the consumer, this text advises to ask the questions of who, what, what else, when, where and how. This portrays the idea that creators can never know enough about the consumer, as more information will only make the product more successful. It goes further to usefully outline effective practices on creating a bountiful list of high-potential opportunities, resegmenting the current product market, finding new ways to differentiate the business from competitors, facilitating team breakthroughs and much more.
While the many ideas, best practices and action plans discussed in The Entrepreneurial Mindset do transcend time, industry and field, the authors should consider creating a second edition of this text to maintain relevancy. The case studies featured, including problems faced by Enron and Amazon are interesting; however, they aren’t current. This fallback leaves them irrelevant and not relatable to current business students or young people entering the world of business and strategy. In this proposed new edition, it would be useful to include cases on current business issues depicting companies like Amazon, Apple, Snapchat and other new, cutting edge companies. Including relevant issues and new technologies while also cutting down the length of this book, to make its points faster and more clearly, could make it fresh and relevant to those seeking advice today.
To conclude, while the advice in this book is most obviously relevant to those in new product development and project management, if one looks deeper, these best practices can be utilized across the board to create a challenging and effective work environment. More than ever, those in business are experiencing an ever-changing marketplace full of possibilities, which can cause apprehension. This book encourages its readers to both see these challenges and to dive right in to face them head on. Armed with the strategies, action plans and best practices outlined in The Entrepreneurial Mindset, the landscape of business strategy becomes a little less daunting. This book comes highly recommended.
The authors focus on training the reader to become what they call a “habitual entrepreneur”; a person who seeks out only the best opportunities with discipline and focus, without bogging themselves down with too many commitments or burning cycles on ideas that are not ready for prime-time. The concept of the Entrepreneurial Frame will quickly show the cutoff when an idea is not worth the effort, and the Opportunity Register will teach you how to inventory those ideas in an organized fashion, to bring out again when the market or customer trends have matured enough for it to be of high value.
Once those tools have been handed to you, the real work of the book begins:
McGrath and MacMillan take the reader through a number of exercises dealing with attribute mapping to illustrate how well a given product or service maps to the customers’ needs, quickly distilling complex characteristics into simple ideas that can be understood. Then, it is on to differentiating products/services with quizzing methods and analysis of the consumption chain; followed, as all the chapters are, with action steps than can be applied immediately to your business case.
Beyond the activities to identify potential new products or markets, are methods to select which projects are most likely to reward you with substantial revenues and which projects should be set aside. The book provides tips on how best to assemble opportunities for your organization to capitalize on investment opportunities, as well as determine and implement an entry strategy into new or existing market arenas.
At its heart, this is a technical handbook for reducing (not removing) the uncertainty around new business ideas. McGrath and MacMillan mention in the beginning of the text, that a successful entrepreneur does not wait until all is certain; they capitalize by being “roughly right” and then getting on with it. This is a book that will help you to clearly recognize and define the opportunities around you, understand the competition you face, and the customers you intend to serve; and then do just that - get on with it!
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By: James Bishop, Matthew Fisher, Aaron O. Wood
Despite the book’s title, The Entrepreneurial Mindset is not a book for Entrepreneurs.Read more