May 24, 2018

One of the great rewards for me personally is when I see the impact for those who have participated in my “Creating an Entrepreneurial Workplace” workshops.  This is where the employees become more empowered, take more ownership and lead critical initiatives for the companies they work for. It’s also an opportunity for people to shine.

I heard a story about one of those participants, Tina. Tina, when we first started, was a fairly new hire in an administrative role.  She had no clearly defined responsibilities at that stage and was waiting for others to tell her what her role would be.

As she participated in the workshops, Tina took greater and greater ownership.  She began to create her own position.  She took on a significant role when we got to the stage where employees take on critical company initiatives and develop action plans.

When you create an entrepreneurial workplace, the roles change from traditional autocratic companies. As you know, normally when there is an important initiative, the leadership team determines the strategy and plan and cascades it to the employees.

Sometimes there is buy-in and sometimes there isn’t from the employees.  A key gap is, since the employees typically provide little input, those closest to the situation aren’t involved in the decision and the employees feel left out.

In an entrepreneurial workplace, the roles reverse.  The audience is the Leadership team.  The Managers and employees closest to the situation work on the critical initiative and develop the action plan and present to leadership.  Leadership’s role is to provide guidance and support.

Tina works in a satellite facility in Oregon.  The leadership team came from California to listen to the initiative presentations of the Oregon teams.  She was a leader for her initiative which involved creating a more lean facility and converting prior unused portions of their building into those that would be functional.  Part of Tina’s role was to ask the leadership team for the investment required.  She asked with conviction for a sizable investment and secured the leadership team’s approval.

This company has been growing by leaps and bounds.  The number of front office personnel has tripled in the past year at Tina’s facility.  The entire front office needed to be reconfigured,  requiring not only a very well thought out short and long term plan, but another sizable investment.

Typically the person putting together this plan, securing buy-in from the team and from leadership, and asking for the investment would be the Branch Manager.  In this case, it was Tina.

She put together a brilliant stand-alone presentation that was incredibly well thought out.  It included great forethought to include future growth.  Her plan looked at how to minimize expenses while making prudent investments.

Tina is now the Senior Buyer at her facility.  She has used the principles of creating an entrepreneurial workplace to not only help make tremendous improvements for her team but to also advance her own career.

Hearing stories like Tina’s warms my heart.  It’s always great when you see the significant financial gains creating an entrepreneurial workplace can cause.  What to me is an even more significant impact are the opportunities it gives your people.