A huge component of our lives on Earth is our time with each other. In a professional or personal capacity there is the potential for both a rewarding experience that builds us, or a painful one which tears us down. Either way, we learn something. No two people will work together the same as another – it’s possible the same two people, on a separate occassion may never again, purely due to circumstance. Though risky at all times, it is neccessary. For the power of the group is always greater than the individual.
This was the message of our lecturer who recently delivered the most interesting course I’ve ever studied. That course was on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Now, it’s easy to immediately picture the entrepreneur who started a large company and now rolls in millions; Richard Branson, Steve Jobbs, the big boys on the block. It is common imagery assocaited with the word, though an image my lecturer beckoned us to look past. I invite you to do the same.
Entrepreneurship, as defined and emphasised by our tutor is a management paradigm. It revolves around an individual, resources and their team. A project whereby great, or small goals (not always financial) are achieved regardless of the control of resources the individual has. It is this ability that makes an entrepreneur; the ability to visualise, plan, then fail early and fail often (As the entrepreneurial aphorism goes.)
Resourcefulness is imperative. Know what you need, how to get it, and how to make it happen. To consider finance the only important resource in this model is to see the wheat as the only ingredient in the bread. An entrepreneur needs more. New businesses need to find infrastructure, services, suppliers – all to be used efficiently and effectively. But the yeast in the proverbial bread is his/her team. The team makes the project grow.
It is as a result of the importance of the team that I think the format we studied in was created. We all worked as a team from the beginning to end. Not in the traditional education model – where generally, groups work exclusively on a final assignment where roles are rushedly assigned to people who barely know each other and focus only on the final mark in their third eye. We collaborated from the beginning. We were assigned groups, sat together and answered questions together. Each of us from different backgrounds building objects, designing beautiful clubs, getting products to customers and counting the beans. It was as if we were all tackling this problem, this problem of entrepreneurship, all together. Not unlike the real world – it was a blast.
To hear the different perspectives gained in various fields and to learn from then all; To struggle with the complex ideas, form opinions and then become excited by the potential of the world inspired us all. We came to see the world as bound only by our imaginations and ability to “make it happen” – rather than as victims of a giant cookie cutter called society. We see the potential of our highly connected and technologically driven world. In the perfect world, all education would do this for us but that’s a whole other article.
In a time where the problems facing our society are only growing, it’s good to remember the power of a team. To see and experience first hand what is possible. This was a classroom environment but the lessons can be applied anywhere. And the potential pool of teammates got a whole lot bigger in the past decade! Social entrepreneurs worldwide are tackling such problems regardless of (but not independent of) profit. Communities are binding together and working as single units, moving towards a common goal. So next time you recognise a problem in your immediate sphere, don’t just think about it. Get a team.