In the U.S. last year, 26,130 businesses filed bankruptcy, and more than half of new businesses will fail in five years.
To stay ahead of the competition, it’s vital to constantly reinvent your businesses and yourselves, and the only way to accomplish this is by having an entrepreneurial mindset.
“Organizations need to be flexible, we need to be able to pivot”, said Cheryl Kirby, Pensacola associate state director for the Florida SBDC. “The next big thing could come out established businesses like yours and it can through intrapreneurship.”
Kirby was the keynote speaker at a workshop Thursday at the University of West Florida, hosted by the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship, SBDC Florida and Studer Community Institute.
More than 150 people representing a variety of companies and organizations attended the session, which also featured a case study of Pensacola business leader and SCI founder Quint Studer’s meteoric rise in the health care consulting business.
In her presentation, “Achieving Success in the Workplace by Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur” Kirby covered a range of topics on entrepreneurship and emphasized the significance of driving the business process through creativity and innovation.
Kirby used the film company Kodak as an example of a company that failed to innovate and create in a time of the digital camera explosion.
Kodak, in fact, invented the first digital camera in 1975, but the company executives didn’t see the value or need for them until it was too late. She pointed out that $61 billion company was killed by digital photography.
“In 2011, the 112-year-old camera pioneer had to file for bankruptcy because of the advancement of this,” said Kirby, holding a digital camera. “They were blinded by the possibilities when they could have been leading in the technology. They decided to be complacent and repetitive.”
It takes intrapreneurship — the ability to think and act like an entrepreneur while within your own organization — to drive the business process, Kirby said.
Those entrepreneurs who innovate, create, survive and thrive have the desire and foresight to come up with new ideas and a feeling of doing it on their own, Kirby said.
They all realize the importance of five integral parts of a successful business: design, fearlessness, exploration, integrity and culture, Kirby said.
Creating intrapreneurship and using entrepreneurial thinking can go a long way in accelerating innovation in the workplace.
“We all have potential,” Kirby said. “Your workforce has a ton of untapped potential. Go unlock innovation, not only in yourself but in them. Be curious, think creatively and take action.”
As a case study, Quint Studer personifies the model of entrepreneurship.
Studer parlayed his knowledge and skills as a healthcare administrator into starting the Studer Group, a multi-million healthcare consulting company that helps improve outcomes in the healthcare industry across the country.
Studer perfected a process and tools to teach heathcare leaders a systematic approach to create a culture of innovative leadership.
In his presentation, Studer took the audience through his journey from special education teacher to hospital administrator at Holy Cross in Chicago and Baptist Hospital in Pensacola to creating the Studer Group and eventually becoming a local entrepreneur with several business enterprises in Pensacola and Janesville, Wis.
He recalled starting the Studer Group, mentally, in 1995 while on an airplane after a speaking engagement.
The company didn’t actually start until five years later, in 2000, after spending years working on the nuts and bolts on the side while maintaining a full-time job as a hospital administrator.
“I think we all want to be entrepreneurs in our company and create a culture where people are trying to make it great,” Studer said. “Most entrepreneurs work for other companies before starting their own companies.”