Why do entrepreneurs find working with large corporates puzzling?

An administrator’s mindset or project-mode mindset in the large corporate is in the sequence of:

  • What resources do I control (assets, people, infrastructure)?
  • Where in the system do I fit (what is my power, define jurisdiction, people reporting in)?
  • Minimize the chance of others interfering in the administrator’s turf
  • What opportunities are appropriate to be explored?

An entrepreneur’s mindset is in the sequence of:

  • What are the opportunities, problems that can be solved?
  • How can I monetize/ capitalize the opportunity?
  • What are the resources required?
  • How do I gather / gain access to those resources?
  • Of least importance – power, control, organization structure

If you compare the sequence, it is in a reverse order.

There are further nuances:

While an administrator focuses on ‘control’ of resources, an entrepreneur is focused on ‘opportunities’.
While the attitude of the administrator on capitalizing the opportunity is that opportunity ‘waits’, an entrepreneur’s attitude is that the window is closing and has to act very fast to seize the opportunity.
An administrator believes that he should ‘own’ the resources, while an entrepreneur bootstraps to build a bit, sell a bit, grow a bit.

Further, the administrator mindset is about having full commitment of all resources required upfront, while an entrepreneur keeps jugaad-ing.

An entrepreneur likes to keep the structure of the team based on roles played, undefined and flexible, whereas, an administrator likes to have a very defined, structured, hierarchical team.
In really large corporates, the administrator is also worried about process, protocols, status-quo, focus on daily activities while an entrepreneur challenges the status-quo, pushes the boundaries and shuns rigidity.
I think when large corporate administrator work with entrepreneurs, they must recognize the entrepreneur mindset.  An entrepreneur, eventually, figures a way of understanding the administrator’s mindset, anyways.

Do let me know where else this plays up.

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