It is not possible for an organization to grow big, on the ideas of one person. Even if that person is a brilliant entrepreneur.
Once, you as the “founding” entrepreneur have managed to start a business, and it is growing. One of your most important tasks, if you want the business to continue to grow, even for decades or more, and certainly when you have retired, or even died; you must institutionalize a culture of entrepreneurship. And this starts with the ability to identify and recruit entrepreneurs….and also hold on to them.
Let me tell you a secret:
The most important people in any organization, are the entrepreneurs, also known as “intra preneurs”. Some of them are senior executives, some are senior managers, some are top engineers, some are supervisors, some are factory workers, some even sweepers!
“Oh, how I wish all the people that ever work for me, were all entrepreneurs!”
Take a company, like Toyota, GE, or IBM. The founders are long gone, and yet these giant companies can create new innovations, start new businesses. They can identify new opportunities… They can do everything, an entrepreneur can do; but they do it institutionally.
Every year they register thousands of patents, and develop new ventures.
If you ever get a chance to read the stories of great business leaders like Jack Welch, and Ann Fudge, you realize that they were amazing entrepreneurs, and yet they did not own the businesses they were running. Being an entrepreneur, at its best, is a way of thinking.