Grassroots entrepreneurship – what does it require?

"At the beginning of our contacts with Fiat, a quality engineer had to come and audit us. We had

agreed to pick him up at Roissy airport in the afternoon, the day before his visit. I waited for him to confirm the time of his arrival until 19:00 but having heard nothing I left for the day. The next morning, around 8:30 am this engineer arrived at the office and told me that his flight had been delayed and he landed at Roissy at 20:30. In spite of the late hour he decided to try and call the factory. A female voice responded, asking him where he was and where he could be found. They had set up a meeting point in Roissy and a lady, whom he described as someone very friendly, courteous but obviously previously unaware of his visit, arrived to pick him up. A quick inquiry revealed that it was Christine, the housekeeper who, while cleaning the offices had heard the phone ring, had naturally answered the call, and resolved the problem by taking the keys of a company car freely available as standard and driving to the airport. Christine was no longer a cleaner, she was Favi and so had managed the situation. This has been made possible thanks to the intangible, motivational element of accountability of each individual in the organization, but also thanks to a tangible condition as simple as the freely availabile company vehicles. This is one of the strengths of our system: its coherence between intangible and tangible elements ... "

(From La Bell Histoire de Favi)


Many of us think that the emergence of an entrepreneurial company is a top-down process. That managers will have to reinvent management (and themselves at the same time) and that the rest of us just need to wait for this to happen. Yet the entrepreneurial business requires two other fundamental ingredients: empowerment and agility. The good news is that we can start now, all of us, to develop our own initiatives, pending broader projects at the company level. We are often asking for more autonomy and responsibility, not being aware that we can trigger it ourselves. Agility is here to enable you to take small steps to develop your autonomy: try things, learn from their implementation and refine the next attempt. The first step towards an entrepreneurial organization is therefore that we become aware that we are all facilitators of this change.

Concretely, what are you going to do?

#initiative

#entrepreneurship

#agility

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