Entrepreneurialism and Corporate Culture

Posted: June 13, 2007 in Uncategorized

I was talking to a recruiter yesterday regarding the current state of the talent market in the NY digital media industry. Of course, that’s been an increasingly interesting conversation over the last year or so due to the state of the market. The consolidation from many smaller companies that essentially built this industry on innovation, drive and entrepreneurial, to larger resourced and infra-structured agencies has had both positive and negative ramifications. The traditional agency structure is totally defunct, but that’s a story for another day. Competition for the limited true talent out there, and the required salary packages that result from the supply to demand ratio in a growing market have created a talent marketplace where mediocre people can demand fairly stiff packages, and the real talent can earn a nice living. But I digress…

We got into discussing the concept of entrepreneurial, a staple line item on every job description from most large marketing and media agencies. What is being entrepreneurial in a large corporate structure? Seems like a oxymoron to me. But then again, marketing folks are quick to develop new definitions and lexicons on an as-needed basis, so I guess it should not surprise anyone. If there is a bigger misnomer for describing the self sufficient and often unrewarded hard work that is expected of agency personnel, I wouldn’t know what it is. Now of course I get what agencies are looking for here – we use this term ourselves. It refers to some of the qualities of being entrepreneurial, with little to none of the risk and in all actuality, little to none of the reward.

The Miriam Webster definition of entrepreneurial: “One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” Wikipedia adds: “Most commonly, the term applies to someone who creates system to offer a product or service in order to obtain certain profit”.

So where does this fit into the corporate agency structure? Or have we as marketers created a dual definition of entrepreneurial?

Just food for thought on a rainy Wednesday morning…


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