Ideas are Cheap, Execution is Priceless

Thankfully entrepreneurialism is alive and well in the United States with a growing interest in pursuing business ownership albeit with some focus diverted to the schedule flexibility and financial independence rewards offered upon successful corporate oversight. Our culture is marked by innovation, creativity, and the value in production of quality products through human ingenuity. I sanguinely view this upward sloping trend as continuous supported by diminishing government intervention with the termination of social service programs, although some are in dire need of continuation like Medicare/Medicaid to heal and prolong the longevity of either elderly or monetarily less fortunate individuals, respectively. Politics aside, the United States culture rightfully places unmatched value on the human spirit in realizing that individuals are capable of goals beyond what many would outline as confining limitations.

With a more widespread adoption of entrepreneurialism and its guiding principles, I have constantly questioned and challenged the reasoning for the existence of graduate business schools. However, a cogent argument availed itself that intrapreneurialism outlines that some individuals operate fluidly and maximally within the context of a structured environment with developed processes, frameworks, and procedures and/or some individuals’s backgrounds are comprised of specialized technical fields like computer programming or engineering devoid of business concepts to apply their specialized, functional talents across a corporate multi-functional context. Therefore, business school serves a viable service with continued demand depending upon the program’s efficacy through a track record of results. (i.e. job placement rate, graduation rate, etc.) I am an avid reader of the site Poets and Quants, which primarily focuses on the efficacy and processes from admission to attendance to graduation of business schools at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I was recently reading an article covering a top 20 MBA institution when I noticed that the comments section was flooded with engineers hailing from India whom were inquiring about their admission chances and/or likelihood at said institution. Many individuals commented that a person’s entire profile including hobbies, interests, and voluntary contributions are weighed to arrive at a decision on the entirety of someone’s profile, rather than through a confining measurement of admittance derived from solely two quantifiable factors: GPA and GMAT/GRE score.

In a generalized conclusion, my life experiences in speaking with, interviewing with, working with, and reading contributions of individuals from the continents of Asia and India is a focus on approaching solutions to problems through common, identifiable routes adopted through traditional teaching over decades and in alignment with a collectivist culture.  From my experiences, I would surmise that individuals from both continents are culturally predisposed toward a systematic application and replication of structured processes, rather than the fierce independence we experience resulting from entrepreneurialism.

We must discover a balance between systematizing approaches and infrastructure for ease of use and understanding while retaining an ability to creatively ideate and implement already vetted and established principles and concepts in novel ways. I remember stating that I was employing a Poisson Queieing strategy to measure recruiting effectiveness to an undergraduate student who attended many of my classes, and he was astonished that someone not only remembered the information taught in a course, but applied the information to further an organization’s progress toward its goals. This individual stated that the concept I was referencing was presently being covered in the Operations course he was currently attending.

Statistics from leadership training consultant company, Development Dimensions International, stated that only 15% of students apply learned concepts to their field of work. This reality is alarming in creating a vast knowledge gap required to both successfully derive and implement ideas that fulfill a market and/or corporate need. I will continue to assert that ideas are cheap, as I originated two just this morning, yet don’t intend on an implementation that requires an unmatched logistical savvy to cover research and development, patent filing, human resources, warehousing, distribution, branding, accounting, sourcing, customer service, and daily operations. Execution requires a vast knowledge of applicable business processes and strategies implemented at the appropriate time while accounting for resources required coupled with the severity and duration of each new initiative for seamless cultural assimilation in accordance with change management. I would advise others to ardently follow their passion, which may include entreprenuerialism, yet always utilize a mentor for guidance in implementation, personal growth, and to identify potential shortcomings of an idea’s implementation like a saturated and/or fragmented marketplace.

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