Monday, September 09, 2013
pioneers in contexts organisational and cultural
There are three key contributors to entrepreneurial success. They are personality, the culture of the country they live in and the support available to them. (From here)
Worth pondering. It suggests that pioneering talk needs to occur in context – to consider the culture and the organisation.
Regarding personality, the article notes that there is no such thing as an “entrepreneurial personality.” Indeed, there are great variances in psychological makeup of entrepreneurs. This is good news and certainly important given the common stereotypes that hang around the word leader and innovator.
However, pioneers do tend to have some shared characteristics
- an enjoyment of achievement
- take personal responsibility
- exist with higher levels of tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty
- look for risks
- see failure as an opportunity for learning
Regarding culture, this is really interesting. I find it intriguing the rise in recent literature in business circles around social entrepreneurship and the rise of the word pioneer in church circles. Our Western culture prizes novelty and so the word pioneer finds coherence. However, down-under cultures add complexity to the word pioneer. In New Zealand, we quickly stomp on tall poppies. In Australia, pioneers died in the desert. They also tended to be male, playing into an outdoor, rather than domestic spirituality. (I’ve written more about this here). So downunder, these layers make pioneering a more complex cultural image to play with.
Regarding support, well for those of us in the Uniting Church who talk about innovation, have a read of this
My vocation carries a cost with it, a cost I am – to a certain extent – willing to pay. But paying that price may cost me more than I can afford … I am left wondering, then, what choices I now have available to me. Can I learn new ways to live within my limited resources that are life-giving and sustainable? Must I choose an occupation that takes me away from a calling that has this year been so profoundly affirmed, in order to extend my financial resources and remove the strain? Are there avenues for support I have not yet explored?
And will my community, the church, be brave and explore these questions with me? For the reality I face, of a limited income and / or multiple occupations, will face more and more ordained and lay ministers called to serve a church with fewer and fewer full time placements available. (From here)
Sarah refuses to accept that creativity and innovation are individual. Rightly (IMHO) and especially for a Uniting church that claims to be inter-connectional, she asks about the place of the organisation in supporting and sustaining innovation.
I sat with someone recently who noted that their church was looking for a 2nd minster who could pioneer something new that in time will pay for their salary. I quietly pointed out that I long for day when that the sustainability of salary applied to the first minister as equally as the incoming pioneering minister.
In sum, only part of pioneering is about the pioneer. They always need to be seen in context – both their cultural and organisational