We are proud to be members of the MAA (Marketing Agencies Association) and find it a great resource on a number of levels. One such benefit of membership is that you get to go along to some very interesting events like the MAA debate on whether entrepreneurial spirit can flourish in big companies. With an esteemed line-up including representatives from Google, Superbrands/Coolbrands and The Chartered Marketing Institute, the event was hosted at the Guardian’s offices and chaired by Dan Milmo, respected Guardian Journalist.
In an evening where much was discussed and debated (as you would expect) here are my top 10 take outs…
1) Superbrands have cleverly developed a system to rank company’s level of entrepreneurship. It works a little like the country credit rating ‘AAA’ ‘AA’ etc. So far nobody has gained the highest AAA rating, but Amazon, Google and Dyson are both AA rated.
2) Shareholders can be a barrier to risk-taking and entrepreneurship. Such things can be hard if you are judged by share prices and quarterlies, as there is less drive to go out on a limb with the danger of short term failure.
3) Consumer need + purpose + passion + culture + bravery = entrepreneurialism (ish).
4) Entrepreneurialism is not about being ruthless, but is about passion.
5) Remunerating by entrepreneurship enables you to instil it within a culture and make it a key driver in the business. Money talks!
6) The right people are key, recruiting to bring in people with ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ will help drive the company’s entrepreneurial goals and culture.
7) Founders can drive entrepreneurism by ‘cult of leadership’ which can be lost when they sell-out, or if their baton is not carried forward.
8) USA vs. UK – The US often is seen as a having a more positive ‘can do’ attitude, which nurtures entrepreneurism, whilst the UK can suffer from tall poppy syndrome. However, in the UK’s defence the USA’s litigious culture can often stifle real entrepreneurship.
9) It’s debated whether the best way to develop entrepreneurship in business is via silo approach like GoogleX, or embedded throughout the business like eBay.
10) Agencies can play an important part in helping large companies (often stifled by process and procedure) become more entrepreneurial.
In fact on that last point, here at Jellybean, the leading food service agency, we like to see ourselves as a bit of a speedboat when it comes to business ideas, compared to some of the bigger boys (who can be more like tankers!). From innovative NPD concepts to cutting edge digital solutions, we’re proud to say we’ll put it forward to clients if we believe in it, because – (and it’s a cliché but that’s because it’s true) if you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never succeed!
All-in-all the evening was very interesting and another great event from the MAA, which even got a write-up in the Guardian no less! Anyway that’s enough from me now, I must get on and think of something really entrepreneurial!
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