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Authentic entrepreneurship: Why it matters who you hang out with

In Part 4 of our new blog series, we look at how entrepreneurship can be contagious (in the best possible way) and why it matters.

13/10/2021
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5
min read

Over the past 18 months, we’ve gone from helping our clients adapt and respond to disruptive forces, to being thrust head-on into that disruption ourselves. Navigating change and uncertainty is always challenging, but this period of intense, accelerated learning revealed some key success factors to driving innovation in fast-paced times.

Since the beginning of the digital era, digital technology has created unprecedented opportunities for companies across all sectors. At the same time, for those who were hesitant to embrace new technologies, over-confident of their market position, or unwilling to question established processes, digital has played a large part in their downfall – think about Nokia, or Kodak. 

But what makes a company more open to new, innovative ways of thinking and ready to embrace opportunity? And what should they look for when choosing partners to work with? A truly entrepreneurial mindset can be a key differentiator.


A new dimension


Innovation is not something that happens in a vacuum, nor in parallel to a company’s core business. If a company is not only to survive, but also thrive in our fast-paced digital world, innovation needs to be an integral element that’s encouraged at every level. 

But of course that’s easier said than done. Real innovation requires relentless resourcefulness and endless creativity to make things work and overcome obstacles. It’s challenging, often without a clear path to an end result. So how can you keep the momentum needed?

There’s no greater or more sustainable incentive for resourcefulness and creativity than being surrounded by people who have entrepreneurship coursing through their veins. And while entrepreneurs who are effective at business can be successful, entrepreneurs who are also authentic, and are genuinely inspired by what they do, add a whole different dimension to a project, team or company. 


“You have to see it to be it”


Being inspired by entrepreneurs is already something, but what if you could actually start to become more entrepreneurial yourself?

Entrepreneurs tend to share some common traits, such as being curious, adaptable, disciplined, decisive, open-minded, risk-tolerant, and persistent, among many others. They are self-starters, life-long learners, and they’re not averse to failing – instead, the prospect of success propels them forward.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurship is not a commodity that can be bought, or a one-off training course that can be followed. But being around entrepreneurs, and seeing how their characteristics infuse the projects they work on, can sow the seeds for a more entrepreneurial mindset.


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About Fast Company’s ‘Best Workplace for Innovators’

Every year, Fast Company joins forces with consulting firm Accenture to compose a list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators out of thousands of companies from around the globe. It’s a recognition that celebrates company cultures that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent new ways of doing business. In other words, it recognises workplace cultures that foster innovation.

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Written by

Brecht Spileers

Brecht

Director Strategy & Growth