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Nurturing An Entrepreneurial Culture Few ways to accomplish it successfully By Maria Black Doug Conant, a former president and CEO of Campbell Soup, had a winning recipe for success. “To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the work-place,” he said. Today, if you ask small business owners what makes their organization a true contender, many will answer that it’s their entrepreneurial spirit. When starting a business, owners pride themselves on their entrepreneurial culture using innovation, persistence and ingenuity to break down barriers and excel. As companies grow, however, it’s important for business owners to be proactive and focus on keeping that special entrepreneurial culture alive. As a leader of 389,000 co-employees who work for thousands of TotalSouce client companies, I’ve had the opportunity to see a whole host of company cultures. Through that lens, I’ve learned that leadership and culture will ultimately define whether or not an organization will be successful. This is why it is so critical to pay close attention to your company’s culture and treat it with the same level of importance as your bottom line. Creating and nurturing a successful entrepreneurial culture can be especially difficult for a small business because the average owner likely got into business to do something he loves, or with the aspiration to be an entrepreneur. This person, however, may not have the HR expertise or “know-how “to drive an engaging and successful company culture as the business grows without some help from the experts. Additionally, a culture of entrepreneurship doesn’t just happen. It needs to be grown from the roots of your firm and be closely managed to keep your company nimble and your employees on top of their game. Here are a few ways I’ve seen organizations accomplish that: Ensure your employees feel supported: Encourage employees to take risks, and let employees know that failure is a valuable part of the innovation process. If it were easy to get things right every time, we’d all be robots! It’s also important to ensure that employees and managers both feel that they have a relationship that is based on trust. The best manager I ever had always made me feel like he had my back, even if I made a mistake. That kind of support helped me grow in confidence to take on ever-bigger challenges over time. Eliminate the bad apples: It’s imperative to weed out any bad cultural traits that may be festering within your organization. If left unchecked, attitudes like “it’s-not-my-job” syndrome and lack of respect for the contribution of others on the team can wreak havoc on an organization. Don’t let any bad apples spoil the bunch! Eliminate these issues as soon as possible through company-wide discussions and even one-on-one communica-tion, as needed. Build the right team: Hiring the right employees to contribute to your company culture is critical to maintaining it. Do you have a top performer who embodies flexibility and collabora-tion? Who are your role models to highlight to others? Take some time to determine what traits you’ve seen work well in your business and ensure you think about that as part of your selection criteria during your talent search. “ When starting a business, owners pride themselves on their entrepreneurial culture using innovation, persistence and ingenuity to break down barriers and excel. As companies grow, however, it’s impor-tant for business owners to be proactive and focus on keeping that special entrepreneurial culture alive.” Foster collaborative thinking: Encourage your employees to work together to solve problems, especially across organi-zational boundaries. This can help to bridge any cultural gaps that may have begun to exist within your organization, ensure your employees feel that all opinions matter, and that anyone has the opportunity to bring their ideas to life. Helping people think more broadly about your company – and its success – will help the organization as a whole, and possibly let employees see contributions they can make elsewhere in the business as they manage their careers. As a leader, nurturing a culture of entrepreneurship starts with you. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to keep employees’ creative juices flowing with calculated efforts to promote teamwork, innovation, and ingenuity, key ingredients for any successful culture. LE Maria Black leads ADP TotalSource®, the largest Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in the U.S. It provides human-resource outsourcing, payroll, benefits administration, and overall human capital management (HCM) solutions to small and mid-sized U.S. businesses. She is responsible for all aspects of the business unit, including marketing, strategy, service, operations, product, finance, and HR. Connect Maria Black Follow @ADPTotalSource Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. 186 Submit your Articles Leadership Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 01.2016


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