How we create entrepreneurs and innovators

Work Smart Show daily blog.

I have been reading Seth Godin’s Poke the Box and he manages to, as he always does, pull apart complex and nebulous issues in such a simple way. In a section labelled ‘Entrepreneurship is merely a special case’ he outlines the crux of what sets apart entrepreneurs from others. But that is not where he starts he breaks it down even further explaining that the world needs people that will “poke the box” to see what will happen. People that will propose options, ask questions and try to change the current status quo. These are not only those that propose or voice their idea but that will then follow this through until implementation or completion.

He adds to this by saying that with most people looking for the plan, the correct route, the rules we need to have others always adapting and creating new paths, rules, maps for others to follow. Seth theorizes than that with this framework laid the entrepreneur is no different apart from the scale of the project and implications.

If this is correct though we can essentially predict who will be successful as entrepreneurs or even more outlandishly create them. Imagine for one moment that within a school or college setting students were tasked with creating a project, on a scale with the appropriate level of risk, and implementing this to completion.

Now this may not sound so strange but it we follow Seth’s way of thinking we could expect this to have real results even if the project was a failure. The project is less important in a way than the attempt to change things. Obviously we don't want to go around creating projects, businesses or products that are going to fail but we do want to in a safe arena create an air an expectation of innovation. People who are willing to “poke the box” just to find out what happens.