Nowadays, entrepreneurial learning is perspective and in a considerable demand. Millions of people are interested in directing their lives to the enterprises and to the current trends. The future belongs to the entrepreneurship and those who understand that today- will succeed. In this essay I would like to reflect a comedy event that I ran with a group of three others that I did not previously know at university. I would like to reflect upon and analyze my process of project development and execution as well as your learning outcomes. It is essential to note that entrepreneurial learning is perspective and there are always certain improvements that are essential to be made. Although the team did not work to the highest potential, due to team dynamics and the lack of experience, the try was worth it and the useful skills and certain experience was obtained for that.
“The predominant contextual learning mode in this [small business] environment in that of . . . learning from peers; learning by doing; learning from feedback from customers and suppliers; learning by copying; learning by experiment; learning by problem solving and opportunity taking; and learning from making mistakes.” (Gibb, 1997, p. 19). Consequently, I have learnt about different issues in the team roles and team dynamics. Now I understand that the communication and creativity are extremely important. As a fact, the relationship with my team member was not as professional as I would have hoped. It was essential to achieve the following: to apply the various theoretical approaches of my entrepreneurial learning so far; to accept the risks relating to my project and to be confident in the strategies that I implement to try to avoid/overcome these risks, and to enhance my managerial skills further and have the confidence to succeed in an area outside my comfort zone.
“To be as fully prepared as possible for entrepreneurship, individuals must look outward in order to interact with, and learn about, the wider environment and recognize fully the opportunity that confronts them.” (Cope, 2001). This statement shows the importance to risk, to try and to believe. Nowadays being an entrepreneur is perspective and is valued in many spheres.
At first, I would like to tell that in marketing and sponsorship – sponsorship was my main role, and it did not work correctly, as expected. I presume the main problem was that we lacked the experience and that there were more expectations that are in reality. However, I had never done sponsorship for a comedy festival before therefore I was not aware of what had to be planned. I realized after a while that if we were to be successful in gaining sponsorship that I would have to formulate a sponsorship package – which clearly stated what the company would receive in return, according to the recent research about the events (The 10 Steps to a Successful Fundraising Event, 2010).
Did you do sufficient research during planning stages?
As a fact, now I can tell that we did not do the sufficient research during planning stages. We soon realized that as the event planning process was well underway, the companies were not willing to sponsor it, because the event was soon to occur and therefore we were not able to offer them much in terms of marketing their brand. This way, this event was not beneficial to the potential sponsors and did not meet our expectations. As a fact, there could be done a lot to improve this. For example, there could be involved more people with more ideas in the process, which will guarantee the success. Also, according to the recent research on volunteering (Why involve volunteers?, 2008) volunteers are considered the powerful force that will help a lot at the event.
It can be said that there was very little management on the day in terms of structure – the roles we all had, and that we needed to have were not planned perfectly. That is why, there are always certain improvements that could have been made and that were indispensable. Also, now it is clear that it is important to be mobile- always ready to change something, to invite someone, to call experts and people who may offer their help. As a fact, planning has to be effective and there have to be several possible ways out of the situation, additional ideas and thoughts. According to Stewart Clegg, organizational behavior has to be applied in the real world, and this way the experience can be gathered, which will facilitate the future attempts in business. It should be noted that the new ways of managing the event and the team dynamics are extremely important, according to Stewart Clegg, as well as the creativity and flexibility.
As a fact, team dynamics also was poor, because there was a lack of communication and structure. There are certain things that could have been done to improve this. People have to be more talkative, to communicate more and to read more, as today there is a lot of useful information that can be found for free in the internet that will help people to create projects and campaigns, to hold events, etc, according to the recent research considering the events (Why hold an event?, 2004). About the team dynamics I have learnt that there has to be changed the strategy of the behavior, of the planning and the ideas applied. I think that we lacked the team work, the understanding. I have also understood that “for learning to take place, the experience does not have to be recent. The experience itself may not change, but the learning from it can grow, the meaning of it can be transformed, and the effects of it can be altered. The linking of new experiences with those of the past can provide new meanings and stimulate us to explore again those parts of our world which we have avoided.” (Boud, Cohen, & Walker, 1993, p. 9)
It can be said, that considering the volunteer labor, we had plenty of helpers setting up the venues however this was used as a way to get into the comedy events for free. Of course, we could we have managed this better, by making the preparation more careful and being more experienced. There is a huge amount of people who are interested in volunteering and who can also benefit the event, according to the research on volunteers (Why should I involve volunteers?, 2004) The sphere of volunteering is very powerful and perspective. It also makes the event complete and more diverse. The sphere of volunteering gives people more freedom, more chances to participate and to be involved. Many people are interested in volunteering and they have to be able to find out easily about the possibilities at the events, about the benefits and planning. Transparent organization of the volunteers and the success of the event are interconnected.
Of course, there were many opportunities missed without the experience in the area, and there had to be created a plan, formulated market research questionnaire, and a market research that would help to be more prepared for the event and for dealing with the problems and challenges. The research would benefit us in being more decisive and flexible in activities at the event, in communication and preparation. As well, I think that we should have started our preparation for the event much earlier. Also, the opportunities were missed because our market was predominantly friends/family of the people involved and students. This way, the try was worth getting this kind of experience and this was only the beginning which will help to realize the ideas for the future and create thoughts considering the possible successful events in the near future, by taking risk. To increase the market there could be invited more people via social media, by making ads and communicating with people via internet, telling them about the event, according to the research in risks (The Importance Of Taking Risks, 2010).
As a fact, I have concluded the certain learning outcomes, as I also planned to investigate further the nature and management of new relationships within our organization. To excel in this learning process, I made the decision early on not to work with fellow peers on the course as I felt that I would not achieve anymore than I have done in the past. I was not previously familiar with any members of the group that I am working with and this has its advantages. Forming personal enterprise group is extremely important and there are “intense social interactions” that are very helpful. It was concluded that if we were to sell half of these tickets we would still break even, and after market research have estimated that we will have a minimum attendance of 500 people who attend the event over the four days. We were confident that this project would be a success and would draw upon a new audience to Leeds event industry. I am also confident that I personally will thrive in this project and gain many learning experiences that I can take on and utilize in my future career. According to the research about risks (Managing Special Event Risks, 2009), it is essential to try and to take risk, as this way people get additional experience and get useful and indispensable knowledge. It is important to ensure that people get new essential experience which helps them be more creative in the future and to succeed in the sphere they choose.
Practice is extremely important and there has to be more and more of it, as it is beneficial. “Informed by qualitative empirical work with practicing entrepreneurs (Cope, 2001), this conceptual article works toward an integrated understanding of entrepreneurial learning by proposing three different yet interconnected elements of a learning perspective of entrepreneurship.” The outcomes of the project show that that are a lot of things that can be improved and changed, that experience is relevant and that constant work has to be performed. As a fact, there are theories of learning in entrepreneurial sphere that are still emerging, and also a range of significant research opportunities exist.
- “The nature of “vicarious” learning prior to start-up (Bird, 1989) is a particularly interesting research issue and it would be useful to examine and compare the impact, in learning terms, from exposure to “high-performing” and “low-performing” role models (Scherer, Adams, Carley, & Wiebe, 1989).”
- “Further inquiry is needed to appreciate the contextual dimensions of the entrepreneurial learning task, particularly in relation to the various arenas in which entrepreneurial activity takes place, such as social, corporate, serial, and portfolio entrepreneurship.”
- It is necessary to investigate other experiences, influences or processes that trigger entrepreneurs to reflect and the different “levels” of reflection that occur as a result (Cope, 2003a).
- Significant research possibilities exist in developing and applying the concept of generative learning to entrepreneurial activity. Further studies could explore the learning that entrepreneurs “bring forward” to start-up; to new phases or periods of growth, stability, or decline; to new contexts such as social or corporate entrepreneurship; or to the creation of subsequent businesses through serial or portfolio entrepreneurship.
All in all, “prospective entrepreneurs must also look forward, in order to visualize how to make their business grow and succeed. In encouraging and facilitating a more proactive process of learning in readiness for start-up, it is argued here that understanding one’s level of entrepreneurial preparedness is, and must be, an exogenous as well as endogenous process.” (Cope, 2001). It can be said that the generative learning embodies the capacity to create and “bring forward” experience. It is important to move forward and experiment with ideas, as there is not much time to find out what can be done and what sphere is interesting for a person. It should be noted that the dynamic learning perspective provides with the considerable possibilities for the integration and re- conceptualization of existing bodies of literature within the field of entrepreneurship. Learning lens can be applied to organizational growth and the small business lifecycle, for example. Mapping the entrepreneurial learning task in relation to the small business growth process is a key area for development.
In the current essay there were reflected and analyzed the process of project development and execution as well as my learning outcomes. My final report briefly described the implementation and outcomes of my project; as well as my reflections upon and analysis of my implementation and learning outcomes. I have realized the importance of new experience and new impressions, of creativity to implement ideas and in order to succeed. I have found extremely important to use communication skills and to solve problems by discussing various issues. I have also understood that the virtual world has to be actively used by campaigners and by people who are interested in events, because this way it will be easier to ensure the satisfaction of both sides and will make it easier to find the necessary information about the events and other essential information. Entrepreneurial learning has become extremely important for me and I presume that my future will be connected with it. I can also say that to accept the risks makes it much better than not to take the risk at all. Those, who do not take risk, risk even more. That is why it is recommended to use different strategies that will be beneficial for the activities and what will have a positive outcome. Also, my managerial skills play a considerable role today, and will play it in future as well. These skills have to be developed in order to ensure the leadership skills and the perspectives in the field of activity.
And finally, it is crucial to have the confidence to succeed in an area outside my comfort zone and to think out of the box, as creativity if the road to the success in the future. Despite all the disadvantages and problems in the team, the fact that the relationship with my team member was not as professional as I would have hoped, I think that these mistakes and misunderstandings have helped me to realize the importance of studying and have shown the real life from different sides. I value my experience a lot, and I am proud of my mistakes, as they have taught me a lot also. It is essential to say that some things are not as distant as they may seem, and the dreams can become real if to take risk and to believe in them. Considering my reflection upon and analysis of my implementation and learning outcomes, it can be said that there can be highlighted three learning outcomes that were achieved: creativity, effective planning and communication. I have understood that the majority of the mistakes occurred because of the lack experience and creativity. Also, I see the disadvantages in the event in planning, as it was not effective and we have not created the backup plan. And moreover, the communication before the event and also during the event was extremely important. All means of communication are valuable when the event is important and when people may need assistance. That is why I think that the event we have held was a good chance to see the mistakes, to face challenges, to get experience and to grow professionally.
How did the project implementation differ from your plans?
The project implementation differed from my plans because unexpected situations occurred and everything went not as planned, and we were not able to change our plans effectively. I presume that I can measure the marketing success for future years of the event in the planning step-by-step, by applying more creative information, by gathering new thoughts and ideas and by reading more about the possible events to create. I think that the ideas have to be perspective, people have to be present at the events from different corners of the country and of different social levels.
How did you respond to unforeseen and unpredictable events during implementation?
It was rather challenging to respond to unforeseen and unpredictable events during implementation, because we did not have enough of relevant experience and knowledge, as well as the skills of communication that will be useful.
How did the project test your awareness and understanding of entrepreneurialism?
I can say that the project tested my awareness and understanding of entrepreneurialism in a way that I had to do everything on practice, almost forgetting the theory, and at these moments I understood that I had to read more about the entrepreneurship and that the practice of it is indispensable. It has been proven that creativity is extremely important and indispensable in the modern world of entrepreneurship. According to Chris Bilton, Management and Creativity, “Creativity is not to be located in one state of mind, one room, one type of person, one individual. Rather it lies in the transition points between different ways of thinking. If we close the doors, we will never hear the full story.”
How did it test your understanding of teamwork?
The event tested my understanding of teamwork, and we faced many challenges in working together. Also, the team did not work to the highest potential due to team dynamics, as there was no proper equilibrium among the team members and also there was the lack of realization that the team has to work united and strictly follow the plan. In order to improve the team dynamics, there have to be made constant discussions and negotiations, and also there should be friendly atmosphere within the team. As well, people have to get along well and to understand that they are the team and have to cooperate and plan more effectively
Did you experience any ‘critical learning’ events? If so, what happened and how have they altered your perceptions of your preparedness and your project?
Also, I experienced ‘critical learning’ events, and they have altered my perceptions of my preparedness and my project, which has shown to me that this event and this try – was only the beginning of the adult life.
Did you meet your learning objectives? Why or why not? How are you determining the success or effectiveness of your project?
As well, I am proud that I have met my learning objectives, because I expected to get an experience, to communication with people, to understand the way the entrepreneurship works. I can say that the event was successful, we manages to make the first try, to take risk, to get new experience, and I think that this will help us understand our direction in life.
To sum it up, I would like to cite McGill & Beaty, as these words reflect the perception of the current situation, the importance of the experience and future. “We all learn through experience by thinking through past events, seeking ideas that make sense of the event and help us find new ways of behaving in similar situations in the future. This thinking through or reflection is the essential link between past action and more effective future action . . . In times of crisis or radical change reflection becomes more important and also more di
Chris Bilton. 2007.”Management and creativity : from creative industries to creative management”. Wiley-Blackwell (21 Aug 2006). 216p.
Managing Special Event Risks. 2009. 2 May 2011. <http://www.nonprofitrisk.org/library/articles/rmbasics060709.shtml>
Stewart Clegg. 2008. “Managing and organizations”. Chapter 2. Sage Publications Ltd; Second Edition (12 Feb 2008). 720 p.
The 10 Steps to a Successful Fundraising Event. 2010. 2 May 2011.
The Importance Of Taking Risks. 2010. 2 May 2011. <http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Importance-Of-Taking-Risks&id=1189849>
Why hold an event? 2004. 2 May 2011. <http://www.professionalproject.com/what/hold_event.html>
Why should I involve volunteers? 2008. 2 May 2011.
Why involve volunteers? 2011. 2 May 2011. <http://www.volunteering.org.uk/WhatWeDo/Projects+and+initiatives/volunteeringinhealth/volunteers+can+do+anything>