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The quintessential business form of entrepreneurship is the startup. However, the vast majority of businesses are not just a couple of college grads in a garage. Businesses can still learn to harness the entrepreneurial spirit to their advantage. After all, corporations need creative people, innovative ideas and agility to remain competitive in the marketplace. Here are some ideas on how to utilize the entrepreneurial spirit like a startup.


Analyzing a business starts with the people. Not only how they’re treated, but how they are hired. It’s very important for hiring practices to avoid biases. People need to be trained and tools like rubrics need to be implemented. That way, you’re hiring specific qualifications rather than specific people. Once you have a good hiring process down, you’ll find smart and flexible people in no time.


Decades ago, old school Fortune 500 companies would have teams siloed off. The marketers would never talk to the engineers, who would never talk to the customer service people. And thus the sleepy business culture was born. At a startup, everyone is involved in the decision making process. This is the style you should try to imitate with valuable input gathered from the various teams. Collaboration software can be used and you should consider open seating arrangements.


Experiment with creating ideas. For example, time is money and do your best to keep meeting time down. Try group brainstorming sessions. Some people like to not schedule things on Friday so they can protect their time to think.


If one of your employees comes up with a good idea, do your best to make sure it’s taken advantage of. With conflicting desires this might be difficult to do, but a successful idea will build momentum. Sometimes departments can be slow moving and a small win will quickly lead to others. Creating an environment where creativity and change making are rewarded is critical for harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit.


Some of the biggest business success stories (particular those from Silicon Valley) were due to the entrepreneurial spirit of the founders. Their competitors had well-funded teams and the technology but their massive resources weren’t enough to stop them. Although trying to be the next Bill Gates might be difficult, you can implement some of their cultural ideas so that you can harness the entrepreneurial spirit of your employees.