Enterprising Solutions in Times of Transition

IESE Insight invites you to think and act like an entrepreneur

29/09/2014 Barcelona

IESE Insight

We are living through times of transition: politically, economically and socially. Today’s challenges require agile, entrepreneurial solutions. The latest issue of IESE Insight magazine will inspire you to think and act like an entrepreneur, so you will be able to rise to the occasion.

When you run up against a brick wall, think of the Berlin Wall, which came down 25 years ago this fall. Inspired by the stories of business pioneers who launched private companies in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of communism, M. Julia Prats, Marc Sosna and Sylwia Sysko-Romańczuk show how ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things, if they behave like the "entrepreneurial icebreakers" the authors describe in their article.

These "icebreakers" adopted a behavior the authors term "tacking entrepreneurship," which they liken to a boat sailing upwind. When you have strong headwinds to contend with in your business life, it may be best to adopt a discovery-driven approach, advancing by constantly "changing tack," which also happens to be the theme of IESE’s upcoming Global Alumni Reunion.

Politician-turned-businessman George Yeo echoes a similar idea in his interview, though instead of a sailboat he uses the analogy of migratory birds: "They never fly in a straight line. They have to catch the wind and follow its shifting patterns. They accept that the wind will always change direction and don’t complain when it does. You have to take the world as it comes and adapt constantly."

This behavior pattern, birthed in transitional settings, can actually make it easier to transfer know-how to new contexts – whether it’s social entrepreneurship in emerging markets, as described by Filipe Santos in his article "How a Social Logic Can Transform Your Business", or breakthrough innovation within established companies, as Antonio Dávila and Marc Epstein explain in their article.

Entrepreneurship also serves as one of the keys to the success of family offices -- special entities designed to manage the investments of family businesses. In their article "Paths to Keep Wealth in Family Hands", Juan Roure and Juan Luis Segurado highlight the entrepreneurial behavior and attitudes that ensure family businesses’ wealth-creation activities happen in sustainable ways for generations to come.

A case study on Samsung yields helpful advice for executives on how to overcome the barriers that new ideas often run up against inside large organizations. And David Marquet, a former submarine captain, offers practical tips for how to empower teams to take entrepreneurial initiative, using his own story of how he turned his ship around.

Members of the Alumni Association and subscribers to IESE Insight – a quarterly research-based magazine, published in separate English and Spanish editions – can read all these articles using their membership credentials.

Those who are neither Alumni nor subscribers can access the premium content either by subscribing to the magazine or buying the articles.

You can access the last issue of IESE Insight  here.