Entrepreneurial Mindset: Necessary Life Skills
Entrepreneurial Mindset – It is an orientation, a way of thinking and acting that allows individuals and organizations to move around uncertainly.
Business education has been at stake for some time now. After a heated debate over business ethics, the consensus emerged that business ideas could be taught and nurtured and essential to do so. The Entrepreneur India article and the latest article in the Harvard Business Review emphasized the importance of developing a business sense and warned about following the standard business school approach to bringing it to class.
The question is: What is the concept of entrepreneurship, and how can you put it into a learning environment? A business mindset is an aim, thinking, and acting that allows a person and firm to move around uncertainly. Uncertainty is not limited to the unknown. The future, by definition, remains unknown. Instead, it is about working in an environment where the future is ‘unknown.’ As entrepreneurs rethink and rethink the world, they are stepping on an unprecedented path and, therefore, are operating in an uncertain environment.
In other words, they do not know and ‘do not know’ the predictions that are in the corner. A entrepreneurial mindset prepares people to deal with uncertainty. Such thinking is an important life skill in the current uncertain business environment facing unprecedented disruptions in technology, governance, and social and economic structures.
Turning to how to develop a business concept in the classroom, I offer insight from a study we presented at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IMIM) five years ago. In an atopic called “Entrepreneurial Mindset and Action,” the study builds on three pillars.
How it will work: In an environment where uncertainty prevails, the future is unpredictable. So, the best plans put in place can go awry. So, how should one work in such an environment? Professor Saras Sarasvathy’s practical approach provides a way forward. The idea is elementary – don’t try to predict the unthinkable; instead, focus on what you can do, take steps to make progress, and the proper course as the future progresses.
The process can be summarized to control and shape the future, rather than predicting and planning. This is in stark contrast to the planning approach that business courses have supported over the years. Therefore, it takes a concerted effort to equip students in this consistent way.
Quick Test Toolkit: Students also need to become familiar with the tools required to work with uncertainty. This is where the reliance method and set of compatible tools – thin fabric, rapid product testing (MVP), and timely voting – come in handy. They teach students to be organized but flexible, which allows them to learn from small tests and make appropriate adjustments in their practice. They also teach them to fail quickly and then fail cheaply.
Learning experience: The last pillar focuses on allowing students to use the operating system and tool kit based on a safe environment where failure results are limited. Students come up with the idea of getting involved and pass it on to a potential business opportunity using the concepts and tools learned in the classroom. It is at this age that they see the help of business psychology. It gives them the confidence to embark on a business venture and equips them with the tools to increase their chances of success.
READ MORE: Think and Achieve Success Like Millionaires
A entrepreneurial mindset helps different people in different ways. For some, it provides a foundation and confidence to start their own business. For example, Khet Singh co-founded ClaimBuddy in his second year as an MBA student at IIM-Bangalore. The business has raised seed money for Titan Capital and others. That says, “Learning about people building businesses from scratch, doing real business as part of a curriculum project, has helped me to start my own business during my second year and fully pursue my MBA.”
For others, it equips them to succeed in their corporate career. For example, Anuj Trehan, Principal at Accenture Ventures, finds that business thinking is essential for success in the corporate world. “While I have had my share of good and bad assignments in my professional career, having a entrepreneurial mindset has enabled me to bring benefits to my organizations and create a lucrative career. Thus, to succeed in a complex world and the times in which we live”.
In summary, business thinking is natural for everyone. Moreover, it is an essential life skill in today’s uncertain business world.
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