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Organization & Process
     Teams aren't formed around ideas.
     Instead, teams discover them.

Entrepreneurs & Teams
     Selecting, training and supporting the
     differentiated roles of a new organization.

The Work Required
     A punch list for the new organization.

Typical Issues
     Frequently encountered challenges.

Oyster's Role
     How we help in the immediate, near-term
     and long-term time horizons of building
     the new enterprise.

A Glossary
     Oyster-centric definitions of terms used
     on this site.

Entrepreneurs are about the outcome of their efforts. Their process is measured by the scope and quality of the executable idea they develop.

Entrepreneurs & Teams
Large, successful organizations master the science of managing existing business units and find themselves unable to create new ones. These prosperous, mature businesses struggle with innovation. But they do so because they rely on the good and necessary modes of operation that are excellent at exploiting and preserving existing business environments. The people who manage in these environments are appropriate to the work of building efficiencies, maintaining brands and expanding within the scope of established products and services. The approach and mindset of such managers is essential. Nothing successful can be well-run without them. But they aren't the entrepreneurs needed to build new value.

The dynamics of growth require people, processes and goals very different from business unit managers. Their style, rewards and purpose are intrinsically different. The challenge of establishing growth as a permanent, crucial organizational element in a business and then developing the approach and processes to build new value is very different from managing existing product and service platforms. The difference is between project managers and entrepreneurs in residence.

Project Managers
Project managers get it done, on time and on budget. Their success is measured by the metrics which surround time and money, not the power of their results. Managers execute plans that have been carefully bounded by plan and definition; they perform tasks with a certain faith in the outcome. Their method is to create efficiency around known tasks, adding value to existing structures.

Entrepreneurs are about the outcome of their efforts. Their process is measured by the scope and quality of the executable idea they develop. Their ongoing work is to identify and solve problems and they are relentlessly honest about the roadblocks they encounter and equally relentless in attacking them.

Entrepreneurial thought and action is necessary in order to create substantial new value. These leaders have to be encouraged and liberated from managing existing businesses. They must be trained and protected, but subject to discipline and a systematic approach. They are given latitude so that they can be adaptable, but only within a controlled process.

Entrepreneurs in Residence must have certain, key personality traits and performance habits:

Constructive Dissatisfaction: The candid, professional critique of an organization's processes, staffing, solutions, goals and strategies that seeks alternative, better results. The source of hypotheticals that can lead to answers. A spirit and approach more than a skill.
Fast & Adaptive Thinkers: The purpose of their work is to problem solve quickly, recognizing the difference between challenges and killer issues. They work within a domain to find substantial, workable solutions as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Experimenters: In both the intellectual/imaginative world and the real/practical environment, trial and error is essential to new platform development.
Honest & Candid: Recognizing the impractical solution, the unsurpassable hurdle and the ultimately insignificant triumph is critical. There are no worthwhile Pyrrhic victories.
Curious New challenges, needs, enabling factors and capabilities are found in unlikely places, often accidentally explored.
Opportunistic: A win is a win. Taking advantage of any available, practical solution is essential. Elegant results are often no more usefule than the effective work-around.
Entrepreneurs and the teams that surround them have to be created internally. It is usually impractical to import the skills and knowledge of the organization necesary to support the communication and collaboration required.

The Broader Organization
The leadership role in this process is to create the perfect circumstances for such work to flourish. A process and consensus must be developed that gets the organization behind the initiative rather than threatened by it. So existing business unit managers have to support the initiative enlightened by self-interest. They have to see the necessity of the undertaking both for the corporation at large and for themselves personally.
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