10 actions to sustain and scale organisational capacity

Paul Coyle, Director, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, France.

This article was first published in 2021 in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network eZINE Volume 4 no 3

In 2020/21 the OECD and the European Commission conducted a review which led to the Report ‘Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in Lithuania’.  Paul Coyle, the Director of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, was one of the international experts engaged by the OECD to undertake the review.  

On the basis of meetings with Higher Education and research institutions, Paul contributed to the Report with his chapter, ‘Organisational Capacity: funding, people and incentives’.

Paul has generalised the key lessons and devised the following 10 recommendations that are relevant to change in any organisation:

Image credit: Pixabay

1 Make a strategic commitment to become more entrepreneurial and innovative.

It also helps if the organisational strategy aligns with national priorities for the creation of economic, social and cultural value.

2 Devise entrepreneurial plans that involve the whole organisation.

It helps if effort is made to ensure that plans are relevant to, and engage, every part of the organisation. 

3 Anticipate the likely obstacles and be prepared to overcome them.

It helps if plans are realistic, acknowledge common problems, anticipate likely obstacles and have measures to overcome any bottlenecks. 

4 Learn how to make smarter use of resources so as to sustain, and invest in, organisational capacity. 

It is desirable to diversify income sources and to grow the total income. It is also necessary to address issues of efficiency, productivity and value for money in the use of resources.

5 Promote greater diversity and inclusion so as to increase innovation capacity.

Diversity and inclusion underpin the quality of innovation. An organisation should have an Equal Opportunities Strategy and use key performance indicators to evaluate and plan for improvements.

6 Empower people with an entrepreneurial mindset so as to release untapped human resources and drive up productivity.

The mindset enables employees to think and act like an entrepreneur in the delivery of their organisational responsibilities. This helps each person to reach their full potential and achieve their best.

7 Work to build an entrepreneurial organisational culture over time.

The long-term goal has to be the establishment of an entrepreneurial culture that infuses every part of an organisation and all its activities. 

8 Dare to embrace radical change.

Organisations are more comfortable with slow and incremental change. It helps to be open to the idea of major changes to the traditional ways of working.  Efforts also need to be made to overcome inability or unwillingness to question the status quo or to embrace change.

9 Benchmark entrepreneurship and innovation performance so as to understand how to improve. 

Benchmarking identifies strengths & weaknesses, and can create targets for improvement based on a comparison with other organisations, in the local, national and international contexts.

10 Design and customise the entrepreneurial journey for your organisation.

Change will mean engaging in an “entrepreneurial journey” over time. Each organisation will need to devise its own approach to its journey based on its own history, location, resources and future strategy. ◼️