The article “Seven Keys to Shaping the Entrepreneurial Organization” gave seven specific guidelines that entrepreneurial businesses need to thrive and stand above the other established businesses. Once the vision, mission, and values of the company has the support of the founders and top management team, the article state that there is a seven-step approach that can be implemented to achieve the desired results. These seven steps are: “1)hire self-motivated people; 2)help others be successful; 3)create clarity in the organization-clarification of purpose, direction, structure, and measurement; 4)determine and communicate your own values and philosophies; 5)provide appropriate reward systems; 6)create an experimental learning attitude; and 7)celebrate your victories.” (p.3 Slaughter) The seven keys are meant to be guidelines and are not the only things that an entrepreneurial company needs to survive. The main point to remember is that the entrepreneur is not a lone wolf; he/she must work together with the entire team and be able to bring the right people on board in order to become successful.

The first step, “hiring self-motivated people,” is important because you need motivated people in any endeavor where you wish to achieve high goals. Settling for “just-enough” to complete the job will only bring mediocre results at best. Entrepreneurs and managers should avoid hiring people who they constantly need to motivate. This drains the energy and focus out of the entrepreneur/management. The unmotivated employee can also drain the enthusiasm out of other employees. Entrepreneurs need people with inner drive like they have themselves. These people will have the same spirit as the entrepreneur and be able to give off their energy to others.

The second step, “help each other be successful,” is very important. This step ensures a team atmosphere where each person has personal aspects at stake. The goal of the business becomes each employee’s goal because part of the business goal is realizing the goals of each person. It is a win-win atmosphere. This also empowers employees, which will in turn motivate them and will cause them to produce better. This atmosphere also creates a very personal environment where each employee is viewed as a person and not just a number.

The third step, “Create clarity in your organization,” is also very important. First, the ultimate question should be “what’s the goal?” This goal then needs to be clearly communicated throughout the company. Then the vision, mission, and values need to be clearly communicated in order to get everyone eon the same page. This will also help to weed out potential problems in the organization by seeing who is in line with the mission, and who is not. There must also be clarity in structure so people know what they are to do and who they are to report to. Communication is very important. This structure will also create better ways to measure how the company is doing. What gets measured gets done. Having clear forms of communication and a good reporting system will keep the company running at optimal performance.

The fourth step, “determine and communicate your own values and philosophies,” coincides with some of the steps already mentioned, but also delves deeper into the depths of the company. Values will determine how the business is operated on a day-to-day basis. It creates a framework for the entire team. Clearly communicated values will also help things run smoother and more efficiently. When something does go wrong it should be instantly apparent if it went against the company values, not to mention that wrong doings can be avoided or quickly dismantled by clearly knowing what the values are.

The fifth step, provide appropriate reward systems,” goes beyond the customary bonus plans and benefits. There is much more to a reward system. In order for it to be effective, it must encourage the desired behavior, and to do this you must know what motivates your employees! The reward system should be somewhat personalized to encourage the correct behavior and show appreciation to the employee.

The sixth step, “create an experimental, learning attitude,” helps to keep the work environment fresh and open to change. Nothing is set in stone, and it will be easier to get up from the failures when the company has this attitude of experimental learning.  The key is to fail fast, no matter how often.  Failing fast will allow you to lose very little but gain quite a bit of knowledge about what works and what doesn't.  A culture that is encouraged to experiment and is not deterred from failure, but even rewarded for it, will be a culture that cultiates innovation. 

The seventh step, “celebrate your victories,” creates motivation and celebrates the positive aspects of the business. “Good people want to be associated with a winner!” (Slaughter)  Celebrating vitories will always be a great incentive to strive for more.  As ntoed above, celebrating failure can also be a way to recognize innovation and striving to become better. 

This article is very relevant and important for the entrepreneur. The seven steps are guidelines that create a fresh, innovative, and human-centric environment that motivates and empowers the employees. It shows how to effectively disperse the entrepreneur’s energy and passion throughout the company. Most important is the fact that is shows the entrepreneur that he/she doesn’t need to be a lone wolf. The success of the business is a team effort and very rarely, if ever, is it done alone. The guidelines are also important because though there is an element of uncertainty and risk in an entrepreneurial business, guidelines can be set to ensure the company is on the right path to success. This has been learned and handed down from other successful entrepreneurs and is extremely helpful, again showing that a successful entrepreneur is not a lone wolf.




Slaughter, Michie P, “Seven Keys to Shaping the Entrepreneurial Organization,” Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.