Is your workforce filled with engaged, entrepreneurial employees? If not, begin with your hiring process. When you hire new employees, do you want technicians or entrepreneurs? Are you hiring people with specific skills, or are you hiring entrepreneurial people with an aptitude for the job they will perform?
Most employees are conditioned to think like a technician. They view themselves as a salesperson, an engineer, or a manager.
You need to begin to view your employees as entrepreneurs. And this starts with your hiring process. When you screen for attitude and cultural fit, look for people with entrepreneurial drive. Engage in openended questions that tap their background, demonstrate their ability to understand customer needs, and illustrate how they have served customers in the past. When you begin to explain to prospective employees that they will be given the opportunity to act like an owner, the entrepreneur in them will awaken.
Your job as a leader is to attract and grow entrepreneurs, or “intrapreneurs,” who can learn and execute your operating model, your way of doing business, at a high level of proficiency. You must attract people with a positive, entrepreneurial attitude and then create an environment that nurtures and supports an entrepreneurial spirit and creates the behaviors you desire and need to survive.