Some would argue that entrepreneurs can only thrive outside of large organisations. Yet Russell King, executive vice president of Anglo American – a £29 billion company with 195,000 employees – says that a global corporation can have an entrepreneurial culture. It’s a matter of defining how the game must be played.
You hear it all the time: another large enterprise has set a goal to create a more entrepreneurial culture. In my experience, this goal is put forth without much thought. Rather, many a big company sets out on this quest as an article of faith. Much like someone who commits to finding the Holy Grail, just saying you want to be more entrepreneurial seems intrinsically sound, even noble. Yet, speaking as someone who has lived and worked in large companies for a long time, I always wonder what’s really driving the organisational goal to develop more entrepreneurs. Is it to make the company different? Is it to enhance its pool of talent? Or is it just to avoid (or escape) hard financial times?