At GIIS we believe that entrepreneurs are essential to the future. And because we are dedicated to training the next generation of global thinkers, it follows that cultivating the spirit of innovation -- along with the skills which support entrepreneurship -- among our students is a mission-critical endeavor.
But can entrepreneurship even be taught and, if so, what’s the best way to do so? In this two-part blog, we’ll cover why innovation and entrepreneurship matter, along with what we’re doing at GIIS to help create the next generation of world-changing, big-thinking entrepreneurs.
The Entrepreneurship Imperative
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella once said of his career trajectory, “The day I took on my new role I said that our industry does not respect tradition -- it only respects innovation.”
And while the industry to which he was referring was technology, the reality is that all industries -- from manufacturing and media to food and financial services -- must innovate in order to succeed.
As Driven Brands Group President Jose R. Costa concluded in a Huffington Post piece on the profound value of innovation, “The underlying message here is that we have to innovate every day, regardless of our respective industries, and make it part of our strategy. If we don’t, we become obsolete and irrelevant...It’s a challenge that both businesses and individuals need to take more seriously to stay competitive in a global marketplace.”
But innovation cannot exist on its own. An equally important part of the puzzle? Implementation. Enter entrepreneurs.
3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Matter
We often talk about entrepreneurs needing investors, but the reality is that the converse is also true. Investors, and everyone else, for that matter, need entrepreneurs for the following three reasons:
- They see opportunities.
The world faces many extraordinary challenges. Most likely to rise to them through a winning combination of creativity, persistence, and a can-do attitude? Entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurial legend Michael E. Gerber, declared by Inc. to be “the World’s #1 Small Business Guru," once said, “The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but many people see only problems everywhere they look. The entrepreneur in us is more concerned with discriminating between opportunities than he or she is with failing to see the opportunities.”
- They think outside the box.
Albert Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” We’ve already covered that entrepreneurs see opportunities, but when those opportunities aren't there, they don't give up. Instead, they create their own opportunities. Said successful Silicon-Valley based author, speaker and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki said, “The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning -- to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”
- They change the world.
Steve Jobs said, “When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is ... Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it … Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.” In other words, while we often think of entrepreneurs in terms of a money-making mindset, it's much more than that. They are uniquely positioned to make life better for the planet and its inhabitants.
Behance co-founder Scott Belsky said, “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” The difference between these two things -- the ability to implement -- is what makes an entrepreneur. And that’s exactly what we strive to teach at GIIS. Our next blog, "The Entrepreneurship Imperative, Part II," will cover exactly how we go about nurturing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in our students, including an overview of our successful Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. (to be continued)