What Managers Need to Know About Entrepreneurship History

Interest in developing entrepreneurial skills is exploding, and thus new approaches are emerging to keep up with demand—and also keep up with the changing nature of entrepreneurship education. Where are these new approaches coming from? And, how precisely are the new ways of conceiving entrepreneurship education different than traditional approaches? With these two practical questions in mind, below we discuss some key developments in the … [ Read more ]

Ten Secret Elements of the Entrepreneur Experience

The dominant entrepreneurship narrative is still the lone individual with the brilliant idea who, against tremendous odds, makes it big. The founder myth focuses on and bestows celebrity status on a relatively small set of highly successful, rich, predominantly male, technology-focused entrepreneurs. However, the majority of entrepreneurs fall outside this narrative. At the Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab we have studied over 250 entrepreneurs launching ventures … [ Read more ]

Learning to Think Like an Entrepreneurial Leader

This article introduces cognitive ambidexterity, the way of thinking and acting that underlies entrepreneurial leadership. Cognitive ambidexterity presumes two different approaches to thought and action: prediction logic and creation logic. To be an effective entrepreneurial leader, one must be skilled in both prediction and creation logics and be able to cycle between them.

Heidi Neck

Entrepreneurs often talk about the importance of identifying a mission that is likely to stay consistent even while the scope changes as the venture grows, as customers engage with it, and as it is influenced by the ecosystem. Developing a mission and guiding vision that is malleable enough to accommodate and even anticipate inevitable pivots is critical for success. All ideas change, and entrepreneurs need … [ Read more ]

Heidi M. Neck, Paul Graham

Paul Graham, essayist, programmer, investor, and co-founder of YCombinator, the Silicon Valley tech accelerator program, describes a contrast between “maker schedules” versus “manager schedules.” Manager schedules break the day into hourlong chunks conducive for meetings and communication, but not for work that requires deep thinking, creative problem-solving, writing, or making. The work of [entrepreneurship] necessitates uninterrupted blocks of time.

Five Practices of Entrepreneurs Inside and Out

We studied new venture entrepreneurs as well as those entrepreneuring inside organizations of all kinds—corporations, government organizations, nonprofits, and religious organizations. And, the method and practices they use are more alike than different when creating something new. There are five specific practices of entrepreneurs both inside and out.