entrepreneurship club … chicken or the egg?

last night, the emp80 entrepreneurship club came together to meet over dinner and then as a larger team at the barr forum. self-selected teams offer rich opportunity to observe human behavior and team dynamics.  the frames of reference we each bring to the table influence our approach to guiding such teams (and the preferential style for being led)

it was a thought-provoking experience with a diverse group of individuals, who described their goals on the following lines:

  • i have a lot of ideas and am looking to build something by the time i graduate
  • i have ideas but am not any timeline to start anything
  • i dont have ideas but want to connect with those that have
  • i have access to funding and am looking for good opportunities
  • i have external teams working on a start-up and want to validate ideas with this team
  • i am looking for distressed companies as turnaround opportunities (why start from scratch?)

i also found it interesting that people were looking for spanned the following:

  • learn about entrepreneurship from kellogg’s resources (“i am here to watch and learn”)
  • “do something” and learn along the way (“i am here to do”)

here are 4 different frames of reference that i observed:

  • rule-relation: the need to establish and know the overall governance constructs for the club.  who does what etc?
  • people-relation: the need to find and relate with people with complementary interests/goals and then look for ideas that might end up being feasible
  • idea-relation: the need to share ideas (in mutual confidence and trust) and find common ground on the basis of idea synchrony
  • role-relation: the need to identify each others expertise/experience roles to enable the group (and members) to identify complementary roles (e.g. a serial entrepreneur, a tech expert, a marketing expert

all though there was a largely binding common interest, ‘entrepreneurship’, the team dynamics in this loosely formed group reflected the sheer diversity in framing-perspectives, leading to potentially diverse outcomes.  we could walk away with a subset of learners, tiers, doers and maybe another google!

i look forward to observing and learning from the team dynamics of this exciting group at kellogg.  stay tuned for more info.

sai nagarajan

    • Raj
    • June 3rd, 2009

    Very nice post. It seems you are getting the most out of the program, Sai. Do you have experience with the ‘Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program’ at Kellogg? Is it targeted more towards the students in full-time program or is it of value to the EMBA students as well?

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