Enterprise as the Process of Becoming – From A to B

I spent a really enjoyable hour or two yesterday working with a group of enterprise champions from FE colleges across Yorkshire.

They had spent much of the morning talking about the usual stuff – enterprise shows, RDA projects to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship to young people etc.

In my rant I took a slightly different approach and talked about enterprise as being the process of becoming a person.

About a set of strategies and skills that help you to move from A to B, which often includes helping to establish that there is a B – there is a better life – and that they can do things to achieve it.  (it is interesting to note that many people who we consider ‘enteprising’ are actually using enterprise to stay at ‘A’).

This led me to talk about the importance of working with students in 3 areas:

  1. Reason – the logic and practice of enterprise and entrepreneurship, goal setting, planning, managing and all that good technical stuff
  2. Purpose – clarifying why – what do we want to HAVE, what are we prepared to DO in order to get it, and perhaps most importantly, what kind of person do we want to BE – and does this fit with what we are prepared to DO and what we want to HAVE.  (This ‘HAVE, DO, BE’ feels important to me – it should help us to work in more person centred ways, helping people to become what they want to be rather than manipulating them into the policy makers tick boxes).
  3. Self esteem – making sure that students really believe that they deserve better, that they can achieve more, that they can succeed – but that it is down to them – the hard work HAS to be theirs.

This approach helps us to position enterprise as close to the core purpose of FE – the education of young people.  It also helps us to broaden our focus from the nuts and bolts of enterprise (the domain of REASON) onto the more motivating domains of Purpose and Self Esteem.  And I am sure this might help us to engage more FE staff in really exploring the importance of enterprise in delivering their mission.

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