A Culture that Helps Shape Thinking Outside the Box
Culture, in general, involves the values, behaviors, traditions, beliefs and norms that are collectively upheld by a particular group of people. Evidently, culture is a multifaceted concept that involves many elements hence it cannot be defined by a single trait or idea. As a result, it is passed down from one generation to the next without failure. Likewise, this is the same with entrepreneurial culture for it is a new way of thinking and implementing things that is debunking yesteryear’s axioms. Accordingly, business authorities state that entrepreneurial culture is the combination of personal values, managerial skills, experiences and behaviors that set apart the entrepreneur in terms of spirit of initiatives, risk taking, innovative capacity and management of firms’ relations with the economic environment.
Unsurprisingly, this kind of culture shakes off conservative ways of doing things. In fact, entrepreneurial culture is the contemporary way of tackling business opportunities, by infusing creativity and innovation in a bid to start new high tech ventures, creating employment, improving the standard of living for people, building infrastructure, whilst ultimately ensuring the nation’s economic development, as stated by Munyoro and Phiri (2020). For that reason, entrepreneurial culture should be inculcated and indoctrinated in all flotsam and jetsam including even the children still at kindergarten. The benefit of doing so is that they will have an open mind of looking at things that is not jaded or rose colored. A good example is of Chinese children who are introduced to techno-preneurship early in their young lives. Thus, they grow up with the mentality of wanting to be self-reliant, to stand up on their own two feet, rather than working their brains out on thinking where they will get employment next. As a matter of fact, in 2019, China was the second largest economy in the world with a GDP of US$ 13.41 trillion due to this technopreneurial culture. Indeed, even the Hofstede model articulates the issue of individualism and collectivism that the former does promote entrepreneurial culture immensely as compared to the latter. Likewise, the model tackles again on masculinity versus feminity with the former hailing entrepreneurial culture through assertiveness. Henceforth, wanting to be self-sufficient and independent is a good start to accepting the entrepreneurial culture even on an individual basis.
Research has found that, at most time’s, attitudes are the ones that make individuals not to take up or follow a certain gospel in all respects of life. In the same vein, if you harbor a negative attitude that will not change for the better, then you will see entrepreneurship as a waste of time. This is why many people in Zimbabwe have mixed emotions when it comes to entrepreneurship, worse yet, entrepreneurial culture, which they deem banal. The truth of the matter is that they do not have the full knowledge of what entrepreneurship is really all about. In addition to that, they also have negative attitudes towards an entrepreneurial culture, yet it is the building block that will determine how fruitful the ventures by entrepreneurs will become. In short, the absence of an entrepreneurial culture means that the general populace will harbor the mentality of having to work for somebody or for organizations all the time. To make matters worse, as individuals you will not be flexible enough to think outside the box as entrepreneurs do. For all intents and purposes, entrepreneurs are always looking for the next big thing for they are proactive when it comes to seeing and seeking opportunities. In fact, they are not risk averse as many ordinary individuals are. Instead they weigh an opportunity as one would conduct a cost benefit analysis thus, by doing so, they take calculated risks. Interestingly, the risk-reward game is not for lesser men who do not have entrepreneurship coursing through their veins. This is because entrepreneurship requires for the entrepreneur to up his or her game with regards to creativity and innovation in sync with current trends and needs of the general populace.
The benefit of entrepreneurial culture is that you see opportunities where others see obstacles, for there is always a way out of a tight spot. In addition, you won’t let issues of lack of capital stop you from trying your hand at a particular venture, after all there are always ways to source funds through business angels, or venture capitalists, albeit they are few in Zimbabwe. An entrepreneur is always up on one’s toes looking for business ideas and how to maximize on them in the long run.
The beauty of entrepreneurship is that wherever you are, there are daily problems that need to be addressed, if only you have the insight and you are up to it to grab the bull by its horns. Henceforth, if you exercise an entrepreneurial culture you will be so flexible and versatile like nobody’s business. This is the reason why entrepreneurial culture must be shared so that everybody is aware of the common goal collectively. In my own opinion, entrepreneurial culture is the thing to go for be it as an individual, entrepreneur or a corporate. All in all, even in organizations that we work for there is an element of team spirit brought along by organizational culture.
Likewise, this is the same thing with entrepreneurial culture. Particularly, it can be shared and taught either knowingly or unknowingly to everyone concerned, so that the culture does not face a natural death in its indoctrination. Without doubt, entrepreneurial culture is not confined to just harboring it as an individual. Pressing the same argument, in an organizational set up you still can exercise entrepreneurial culture after all entrepreneurship does sprout from corporate entrepreneurship. To be candid, this outlines that entrepreneurial culture has no specific time or place where it can be enacted, for it can be implemented anywhere, if only the people are prepared to take in their stride new contemporary ways of doing things.
Failure to accept an entrepreneurial culture as an organization or individual will mean you will continue with your old ways. However, you should bear in mind that the world is dynamic and ever changing so this might have adverse effects on your general performance. Furthermore, this current situation has been exacerbated by the advent of technology as well as the spread of Covid-19.
Thus, you need to implement change management if you want to remain relevant in whatever line of business you are entailed in. If you do not, you should not be surprised when you are left behind and your gains decrease as an organization or as an individual. This is because you have to move with times and incorporate entrepreneurial culture in your day to day business undertakings if you want to have the upper hand that is a sustainable competitive advantage. It was rightfully put that time waits for no man equally neither does entrepreneurial culture.
A stitch in time serves nine.
It is high time entrepreneurial culture is inculcated to all and sundry, so that the general populace have the full knowledge and are conscious of its benefits not only in Zimbabwe but her African sister countries as well. Needless to say, in Africa, we are still sadly lagging behind in the indoctrination and inculcation of entrepreneurial culture as compared to other continents.
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Abigirl Phiri is a Ph.D student in commerce, free-lance writer, poet, International Ambassador of Peace, GBV activist, social entrepreneur, talent manager and an international marketer. More of her work can be found on her Facebook Page: Words are forever.