HAVE-DO-BE or DO-BE-HAVE?
|In business we often hear terms like ‘business person’ or ‘entrepreneur’, but what do they mean and can we train these skills. Let’s look at what these terms mean before we explore any route to development:
Business person “a person engaged in commercial or industrial business (especially an owner or executive)”
Entrepreneur “An individual who, rather than working as an employee, runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture, idea, or good or service offered for sale. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes“.
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” – — Epictetus
If this is true, the key difference in ‘common understanding’ of the terms ‘business person’ and ‘entrepreneur’ include:
- Running or owning the business… and
- Assumes all the risk and reward… and
- A leader… and
- An innovator of ideas, products or processes
This could mean that with having achieved the right experiences and doing the job they become a business person.
Where as an entrepreneur becomes the innovator, does something to get the idea or product to market and as a result has (have) achieved the acquisition of skills and knowledge.
In the book The reality game: a guide to humanistic counselling and psychotherapy by John Rowan published in 1983, the authors say:
“Most of us think that if we have enough worldly goods, then we can do what we want to do, and then we can be happy. The sequence “HAVE-DO-BE”. But what we say in humanist psychology is exactly the other way around. If we can be who we really are we will find ourselves doing things which genuinely satisfy us and give us enjoyment, and then we shall have all we really want. The sequence for us is “BE-DO-HAVE””
So how does this translate to business and entrepreneurship?
Over the past 10+ years I have been fortunate enough to work with 1000s of business owners and entrepreneurs. The difference is often striking.
The business person wants evidence, facts, resources. They often wait for you to go to them to initiate the relationship in some form. (Have information, do… be)
The entrepreneur wants ideas, thoughts. The entrepreneur will often seek out like minded people; they do not wait to be approached. (Be inquisitive, do … have)
Is this the missing link? All to often we are asked to develop entrepreneurial thinking, to encourage innovation and to generate empowerment. We often look at skills and culture, but do we really look at the psychology of the individual(s) and explore their current thinking preferences?
Developing the skills
The HAVE-DO-BE approach (which is where most employees are) is there, and this seems to be culturally driven. The shift to an entrepreneurial approach of DO-BE-HAVE seems to be one of attitude, and so can be developed.
A development programme would then take the existing journey HAVE-DO-BE for many things and develop the confidence to DO-BE-HAVE. Reflection on each step as well as coaching and mentoring can support the development process.
One approach may well be to coach individuals to take some risks, to challenge current thinking and to adopt a DO-BE-HAVE approach. We need at the same time to put in mechanisms to support the risk-taking and the increased likelihood of errors and mistakes – i.e. the output from learning taking place!