Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurs in Closely-Held Enterprises X: Interplay between Entrepreneurship and Organizational Structures and Operations, and Organizational Culture
In this nonhierarchical setting, the closely-held enterprise is most in need of entrepreneurial leaders that can help hold the together. The inspiring entrepreneur can fulfill this function through her emphasis on building commitment and community. Dispersed organizations also need informational networks to keep everyone in touch with what is going on in the organization. The dispersed organization needs a communication system that is complex and flexible. It needs a network through which all members can directly access all other members.
Members of dispersed organizations are not restricted to information about their own jobs and related functions; they can access and contribute to a shared data base that is constantly being updated as the organization, in its many forms and functions, interacts with a turbulent environment. The thoughtful approach to entrepreneurship is particularly appropriate in such a setting. Valid and useful information is the critical element in a dispersed network, and the thoughtful leader can be of great value in ensuring that information is made broadly available.
Closely-held enterprises are likely to thrive if three cultures co-exist in the organization. One of these organizational cultures encourages the generation and sharing of information. This information-rich culture helps keep entrepreneurial leaders in touch with constantly shifting realities. A second organizational culture is filled with conversations about (and expressions of) the intentions that under-gird the organization. This intention-rich culture encourages clarity of mission and ongoing reflection on organizational vision and purpose, as well as personal aspirations. A third organizational culture encourages and sustains the generation of ideas. This idea-rich culture promotes risk-taking and learning from experience, moving an organization from reflection to action.