Previous Article Next Article Toencourage entrepreneurship we have to develop alternative ways of carrying outgraduate inductions, says Binna Kandola Manyorganisations are concerned about entrepreneurship – in particular, that it is inhibitedby overly complex and systematised cultures.Internationalbranding, competencies and other harmonising initiatives are all regarded aspotential threats.Itis also unlikely that classic entrepreneurs are being recruited, as theirpersonality type does not sit easily with employers. All the more reason thento develop entrepreneurial instincts in future managers through training toensure greater creativity. Yet in a recent study we found that existinggraduate induction methods are more likely to produce conformists rather thaninnovators.Inmore than two-thirds of the organisations surveyed, induction is carried out ingroups, has a fixed timetable and follows a specific sequence of steps. Itbuilds on the entering identity of graduates, who are groomed by experiencedmembers of staff. Based on the psychological model we used, such a “custodial”approach boosts graduates’ satisfaction and loyalty by increasing theirorganisational knowledge. But the downside is that it also encourages adherenceto the status quo and ultimately leads to them behaving more traditionally intheir roles.Theresults suggest that to foster innovation we should look at alternative ways ofinducing graduates. That is not to say employers should leave them to their owndevices. Without the right interventions graduates can become demotivated andleave, so in the first two to three months a structured approach is vital. Theemphasis needs to be on understanding the level of support to expect fromco-workers and managers, better role orientation and teaching them techniquesto help develop and bring new ideas to fruition.Afew weeks later they should be allowed to explore the organisation in a moreindividual way and be given scope to experiment within a framework.Somekey elements are:–An opportunity to creatively shape part of the organisation while takingcalculated risks–Challenging assignments coupled with authority to work in ways outsideorganisational norms–Projects requiring teamwork and participative management styles–Encouragement to be systematic and disciplined in being innovative in pursuitof a distinct mission–Emphasis on high standards in terms of acceptable values and the importance ofreputation, trust, reciprocity and mutual interdependence.Currentgraduate induction methods appear to perpetuate old working practices. If weare to reverse this trend the need to achieve new and better ways of doingthings must outweigh the need for comfort and security.Forentrepreneurship to flourish we have to develop people with a “can do”attitude, who are prepared to disagree constructively and act without fullyknowing where they are going. Organisationsalso have to strike a balance between strategic planning and improvisation andvalue diversity, risk taking and learning from mistakes.BinnaKandola is co-founder of occupational psychologists Pearn Kandola. Hespecialises in diversity, assessment and development programmes and has writtenbooks and research papers on related issues Creative spirit needs coachingOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.