“The best way to predict your future is to create it” – Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker was arguably the most influential thinker in the world of business in the last 100 years, his works have influenced the leading thinkers and organisations of today and even people who are not familiar with Peter Drucker have probably been exposed to a number of his ideas.
Drucker brought clarity to the question of what should entrepreneurs be focusing on when they launch a business.
“Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” – Peter Drucker
Although Drucker wrote Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 1985 the messages that he speaks about are as relevant today as they were in the 1980s. In the last decade a number of people have become enamoured with the idea of entrepreneurship and many people claim to be entrepreneurs without really understanding what an entrepreneur really does.
The reality is that not everyone that starts a business or profile on a social media page is an entrepreneur, and neither is everyone that takes a risk. Entrepreneurship involves charting a new path or completely new way of thinking that changes the paradigm of how the market sees the world. Often a true entrepreneur is ahead of his or her time and a number of ideas and applications will not work because the market is not ready.
Interestingly enough entrepreneurs are not always the most successful in an industry and in a number of situations businesses that imitate entrepreneurs are the ones who prosper.
Google was not the first company to provide search engine results, but they managed to dominate that market.
Facebook was not the first social media platform but they dominate their market.
Apple was not the first company to create an mp3 player and they dominated that market.
There are a load more examples and the point is clear that entrepreneurship does not always lead to success although success can be a result of entrepreneurial thoughts and actions.
Innovation is something that requires an improvement on the current way of doing something. This can take a number of forms, it could be an improvement in speed of delivery, costs, saving time, distribution, markets, platforms, technology, and so on.
A factor of entrepreneurship that is essential today is to be able to adapt and respond to unforeseen changes and circumstances that cannot be predicted.
“There is nothing permanent except change.”
Over the next few years an unprecedented amount of both entrepreneurship and innovation will be required to over come the necessary challenges that are coming due to the restructuring of society. It is down to the creative thinkers and doers to create the work that they wish to see in the future.
If we look throughout history times of chaos have provided opportunity for societies to grow, adapt and evolve.
Drucker cites examples of how companies in a number of industries managed to innovate and use entrepreneurial methods to achieve success.
Having said this there is no specific formula or recipe for success, especially with entrepreneurship, the entrepreneur typically uses his or her intuition and ability to maximise and capitalise on opportunities that did not exist prior to their taking action. This is a function of leadership and the success of an entrepreneurial venture largely has to do with the leadership that is utilised to fulfil the ultimate objective.
“Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not “making friends and influencing people”, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” – Peter Drucker
The most important thing of all is that the real work of innovation and entrepreneurship must be obtained in the field, that is to say that it cannot be achieved by reading a book or by watching a video or by jumping up and down like a maniac at a seminar, the work must be done in the field by getting out and attracting customers to use your products and services, only then does the entrepreneur really come to life.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker
Author: Peter Drucker