Ezekiel Solesi: Entrepreneurship 3.0 – Where business meets social change (Y! Superblogger)

Make your organisation fun to work in or risk losing most or perhaps all of your best hands. 

The world around us is changing. In fact it’s not news anymore for us to hear of things like Web 2.0, 3.0 and the likes. We’ve advanced in technology from analog to digital and more, we have witnessed our sociopolitical system change and for the most part we now feel, especially in a country like ours, that power is returning to the people.

When I say ‘power’, I do not just mean power in the political sense alone, I mean power in all ramifications.

I personally believe entrepreneurship like every other thing in our world hit the famous 3.0 level.  I believe corporate Nigeria is changing and unfortunately most people do not understand the current transformation that is taking place in our country as far as entrepreneurship and business is concerned.

Like everything in life, change is inevitable. However in our society we seem not to be able to recognize change when we see it coming. Even when it happens to have come upon us, we still act as though it’s a passing trend. Unfortunately most people get swept under by this change and suddenly find out they have become less relevant or altogether irrelevant in the scheme of things.

With the world flattening out and giving everyone a level playing field this change is more than ever inevitable. Simply because more than ever in our world, the same quality of information is available to almost everyone that cares to look. And we, in this part of the world can see how things are done in other parts of the world and in effect model after the systems we most admire.

This article is to show you how that not only is the world leveling when it comes to information sharing, it is also leveling when it comes to common practices across board especially in business.

There are four things that characterize these new business world we seem to be entering into in our part of the world, a world many of the western nations have already entered.

 

1- More than ever before Entrepreneurship is seen to be “the way out”

With the worldwide economic depression, the massive loss of jobs in almost every nation of the earth and the persistent failed attempts of several governments in trying to provide ‘jobs’ it has become glaring that entrepreneurship is the way out.

Yet for the most part in our country we see people grumble about the lack of jobs, about the fact that the government is not doing enough or not doing anything and of course the government certainly can do more, however if you look carefully around you right now some smart thinking people have decided to take their futures into their own hands and have decided to start something. 20-30years from now they would control the economy because they have seen that every inadequacy of any government leaves a need gap that smart thinking entrepreneurs can fill.

All around the developed world people have taken their future into their own hands and have begun something, however small yet some of them of whom we know their names have become billionaires in the shortest possible time, with the littlest possible resources. They have done the impossible and if you don’t realize it, we now live in a FLAT world where everyone can see what anyone else is doing. Meaning, as we speak, some people have drawn inspiration from the stories of this people from everywhere else and have begun their own journeys.

 

2- Businesses are moving from being product driven to being value driven

Many years ago businesses were basically about the products that you offered and probably nothing more. However we have now entered into an era where businesses are moving from being product driven to being value driven. It’s not just simply about the products anymore. Businesses and entrepreneurs are now more than ever giving us more of a value proposition.

For example, a typical toothpaste company only sold you a product to clean your teeth with, however now the same toothpaste company is no longer willing to just sell you a mouth cleaning product, they now want to sell you a better self esteem, higher confidence, stronger teeth, and a fresher breath.

A milk manufacturing company used to sell us milk product but now they now sell us 28 vitamins and minerals, string bones and teeth, greater strength and probably even a happier family (this one is particularly funny to me).

Why is this important to note?

The world has become FLAT. So your competitor is no longer just the guy down the street. He’s probably that guy half way across the world who’s got a platform online that customers can buy from so if all you offer your clients are products, think again. Which would you buy; a mouth-washing product or a better self esteem?

Draw out value from your product because no one is interested in products anymore, we all want value.

 

3- More people are opting to do only the things that they love

Another very strong point to note in this era is the fact that more people are opting to do the things that they really love. You see part of people realizing that they now have full control is their ability to choose what to do and what not to do. This might  seem a little far fetched in our nation today because people seem to just settle with what they get rather than do what they love but I assure you, things are changing. A small fraction of people are walking away from places and employments simply because they don’t love to work there or have possibly found their “calling” in doing something else. ” A small fraction is not a determining factor”  you might want to say but according to a time tested principle it’s more than a determining factor, it’s all that’s required for the paradigm shift to occur in any society.

That principle is called the ‘Pareto principle’ which states that 20% of people would always cause 80% changes required to be made in any society. Soon enough it’ll become common place in our society to walk away from any organisation that is not fun to work in.

What’s the take home for us?

Smart organisations  around the world have made it a duty to ensure they make their organisations fun to work in. According to TD Magazine there’s a shift happening in the workplace. Years ago it was the worker who had to adjust his life to meet the requirements of working with the organisation, but now, organisations are having to adjust their work culture, time and otherwise to sooth todays employee.

More organisations now know that productivity and activity are often times not the same thing. While activity often keeps the employee busy and possibly unhappy, productivity focuses on results which often times allow the staffs some free time which in turn benefits the organisation. Ask Google and they’ll tell you that some of their great products like Gmail are products born out of the free time employees have to do just what they love to do that’s not necessarily connected to their job descriptions.

Make your organisation fun to work in or risk losing most or perhaps all of your best hands.

 

4- Money is becoming less of a motivating factor in corporate Nigeria

Years ago a great job was the job that paid more than the others. Even though that might still be seen to be true in our nation today, I dare argue that it’s changing.

Just like in the western world a great job used to be the one that paid the highest, but not anymore. Research has shown that money is becoming less and less a motivating factor in job satisfaction.

Today, a great job would probably have the following qualities;

– something I love to do

– something that gives me time to pickup the kids

– something that gives me time to experience some family time

– something that gives me the opportunity to express my creativity

– something I can grow in

– something that makes me feel significant etc

 

Unfortunately a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs in our part of the world still think that money is all that matters when trying to motivate their staff. It’s know as the ‘carrot and the stick’ model. Truth be told, that model is dead and is about to be buried.

In the new world, which has already begun to come upon us we would need more than conventional business thinking because this new era is the era of the entrepreneur and if there’s one thing an entrepreneur is known for its innovation. Work would never be as work used to be because the “man”( your employee as well as yourself) matters now. He’s become more powerful personally by the very technology that we’ve come to celebrate. Those that choose to reject it would be killed by the change that’s already here. However those who decide to lead this change would find that they have not even begun to scratch the surface of the wealth available to them as individuals and to us as a nation. But beyond the wealth, they’ll see that this era is not just about doing well financially, it’s about effecting social change. Improving the overall quality of human life and hopefully making lot of money doing it.

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Ezekiel Solesi endeavours to simplify issues so for anyone to understand and make informed and deliberate decisions about their future. He blogs at www.limbsimple.com and tweets from @limbsimple.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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Comments (2)

  1. I hear a Nigerian was trying to make some kind of tablet, like iPad. You see my dear we have not come to the conclusion how backward we are. What about walking before running. What about making a bicycle? What about just growing the food we eat? Do you guys understand manufacturing at all? Do you realise that to make a single road in Nigeria, you would see a white man's face, on top of the fact that they made the machines? I know it's so bad. Hence it is easier to say it's not so. I laugh!

    @OIbhagui

  2. Thank you Ezekiel Solesi, I learnt a lot from this

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail