Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Entrepreneurship is the way to go?


   I’m out for my third week in Abu Dhabi and have been reading an interesting column by Jack Welch in Gulf News: Entrepreneurship is the way to go.

Apologies if you’ve seen this some time ago – it’s probably been out in the US etc for some weeks now.

However, I normally find Welch makes very sound observations, which is he got so much positive feedback from his session at SHRM last week, and I think this article is particularly important too.

Welch notes that people have been really shocked by the current recession, and when the economy finally improves, we’re going to be facing “a whole different hiring game: changed, and harder”:

“Many people don’t want to work for ‘the man’ anymore.  They want to work for themselves or someone they know and trust…

A tidal wave of emotion is sweeping from coast to cost – see the hundreds of messages sent to us via our website and Twitter.  To be someone else’s employee, people are saying, is to be subject to someone else’s whim.

The ultimate impact of this phenomenon could be profound.  When the economy recovers, many companies might, for the first time ever, have to deal with a candidate pool that’s not particularly excited about working for them.”


While I’d point out that this change has been going on for some time (and is partly or evenly mainly why lots of people like me have already been working independently), and although I found the comments strangely parochial (I assume the coats Welch is talking about are not the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman!), I do believe these contain some important points.  And it affects much more than just recruitment of course.

It’s also about making some big, cultural changes.  As Welch says, companies have to:

“Stop acting as big companies – bureaucratic and impersonal – and start creating an atmosphere that’s fast-moving and vibrant…

People throughout the organisation will need to feel that what they say really matters, regardless of rank and title.”


Easy to say, harder to do of course.  But if you want some help in creating an entrepreneurial culture in your company, give me a ring.  I’ll be happy to help out, although I’m looking forward to some recuperation time back in the UK, resting after what’s been a rather long business trip, first.



  • Consulting - Research - Speaking  - Training -  Writing
  • Strategy  -  Talent  -  Engagement  -  Change and OD
  • Contact  me to  create more  value for  your business
  • jon  [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com