Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Getting students fired up about business

Robert-Jon Eckhardt (@Eckie) follows me on Twitter. He’s an industrial design student in the Netherlands and posted a video question to me about how business planning can be alienating and does not engage students interested in entrepreneurship. His video references a entrepreneurial website from his university that fails to engage interest. Here’s his question:

And here’s my response below:

Business success does not have to be about long term planning; it’s about making ideas happen. Yesterday a prospectus for a business school landed in my in-tray. It’s full of courses on business planning, strategic planning, management and leadership. But where’s the course on implementation? Isn’t getting your idea out there the important bit? However sexy your five year plan may look like, your business will succeed or fail out in the real world.


Rafal said...

Planning is a great thing to do but only for limited period of time. Without execution plans will be just detailed dreams.
In day to day life we don't need huge volume of planning. Simple idea generation and actions outlining is enough.
The thoughest part is delivering and making sure that we make the pregress and work on those actions.
Doing is the ultimate expression of our thoughts and intentions sobperhaps some deep fear of.... prevents us from acting on our plans.
I wonder if more courses is actualy an excuse from doing the thing we ought to be doing.

Robert-Jon said...

Thanks Ian,

This short and simple answer really 'clicks'. Actually I'm doing an internship at the moment with a great green startup and all we've really talked about is the implementation of my part of the business. Then at the same time, university is asking me to write pages and pages of what is basically a business (or research) plan, to make sure I'm actually "learning" anything.

I'm really interested in education and think it should support real life skills, even on an academic level. (I'm tempted to say especially on an academic level, but the science community probably wouldn't agree with me.) One way or another, even during my years at university it's so clear that all eyes are on project-planning (we've got quite some courses that involve doing group projects) while literally no focus at all is on effective implementation.

This is continuing to be an interesting challenge.
Thanks, Robert-Jon

Ian Sanders said...

Rafal, Robert-Jon - thanks for the comments guys