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Maynard Foundation presentation on Entrepreneurship and Management, in Journalism
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Maynard Foundation presentation on Entrepreneurship and Management, in Journalism

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An invited talk at the Nieman Center at Harvard, for the Maynard Foundation fellows, on entrepreneurship and management. Three case studies on intrapreneurship.

An invited talk at the Nieman Center at Harvard, for the Maynard Foundation fellows, on entrepreneurship and management. Three case studies on intrapreneurship.

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  • Took over struggling organizationStatus quo was generally expectedMassive opportunity, but no expectation for change
  • First 6 months6-18 months18+ monthsAwardsRecognition
  • Motivating team members
  • Identify resourcesIdentify championsBe the exampleSelect the team – smaller rather than largerDetermine your strength – pound away at itRelentlessly tell the story / tell and demonstrate successAdapt as necessarySpotlight your team


  • 1. Entrepreneurship and Management
    Andrew J. Rosenthal 17 March 2011
  • 2. Overview
    Three caselets: entrepreneurship and innovation within major organizations
    Lessons learned and common trends
    The HBS approach to entrepreneurship
    Entrepreneurship and management
    Facilitation: team, environment, advisors
    Learning from mistakes; dealing with failure
    Opportunities and challenges in journalism
  • 3. My background
  • 4. The business side of journalism
  • 5. Three stories of intra-preneurship
  • 6. Ex. 1: Non-profit local alumni club
    October, 2006
    The lens matters:
    Better than average (compared to peers)
    Struggling, and massive opportunity (in context)
    Status quo was acceptable and expected
  • 7. Penn Club – 24 month plan
    0-6 months: Strong events
    Frequent scheduling
    Consistent quality
    Broad documentation
    6-12 months: Strong purpose
    Board development
    Defined and communicated mission
    Addressed expanded stakeholders
    12-24 months
    Sustainable financing
    Analysis of effort
    Leadership pipeline
  • 8. Penn Club – Best of the Best (1/2010)
    The opportunity to meet fellow Penn graduates in the area that you may not otherwise meet, as well as the opportunity to experience new places and events that you might not have otherwise known about or thought to attend. Opportunities to socialize with local alumni, intellectual stimulation with professor lectures and the chance for a trip down memory lane!”
    -Sheryl, Nursing ‘86
    “Investment in the Club expands your horizons in so many ways.”
    -HarveHnautiuk, EE ‘74
  • 9. Lessons Learned
    Understand motivation and context of each volunteer
    Understand your champions’ metrics, and execute
    Embrace low expectations to phase-in risk/reward
    In major organization, arrange early feedback loop
    Strong personal demonstration
    Involve volunteers’ friends
    Seek “booster shot” of resources
  • 10. Ex. 2: Consumer website
    Summer, 2008
    Existing company: business-to-business software
    Few clients, poor products
    Stagnant, going broke
  • 11. happier.com — what we built
    Massive pivot to consumer product
    happier.com: a personal trainer for your happiness
    Targeted audience: women who watch the Today Show
  • 12. happier.com — Growing quickly
  • 13. happier.com — lessons learned
    What will it take to get your story told?
    Leverage changes in “externalities”
    Learn to say “no” and focus
    Be prepared to learn new skill-set
    Lay team groundwork for exhaustive growth
    Fail quickly
    Scrappy determination
  • 14. Ex. 3: Entrepreneurship at HBS
    Fall, 2010
    Powerful brand
    Imposing building
    The lens matters
    Top school, great grads
    Unrealized potential, 5 lost years
  • 15. Startup Tribe – First Steps
    Weekly meetings of core people
    “Founder and Funders” trek
    Branding: website, twitter
    Faculty champions
    Focus on diversity
  • 16. Startup Tribe – Going beyond the core
  • 17. Startup Tribe – Lessons Learned
    Seek “conceptual heritage”
    Look for secondary hooks (diversity, action-oriented)
    Listen and incorporate others’ descriptors
    Transparent motivations
    Litmus test: would you attend?
    Document and broadcast
  • 18. So what?
  • 19. Entrepreneurship and Management
    “Relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled”
    An approach to managing, not:
    An economic function
    A characteristic of an individual
    Only about start-ups
    Manage risks rather than blindly take risks
    Blatantly taken from HBS course slides “The Entrepreneurial Manager”
    Definition: Howard Stevenson, “Perspectives on Entrepreneurship,” HBS No. 9-384-131. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 1983.
  • 20. The Entrepreneur’s Environment
    Great uncertainty
    Newness of undertaking breeds uncertainty
    Range of issues: political breakthroughs, growth, competition, resource availability
    High impact
    Uncertainty pushes entrepreneurs toward high impact opportunities
    Necessary to attract resources when failure is frequent
    Requires understanding context of problem
    Radical change
    To achieve high impact entrepreneurship often includes radical change
    Many sources for change – e.g. new process, new opportunity, new result
    Limited resources
    Assemble various resources often from different sources
    Commitments often staged toward milestones
    Blatantly taken and modified from HBS course slides “The Entrepreneurial Manager”
  • 21. Entrepreneurship and Management
    Blatantly taken and modified from HBS course slides “The Entrepreneurial Manager”
  • 22. Assembling the right team
    Complementary Skills
    Avoid over-redundancy in skills, networks, etc.
    Stakeholders like teams of players
    Reasonable completeness of skill-set
    Know the gaps that need to be filled
    Acid test of a good team builder
    Every one of your partners clearly better than you on at least one dimension
    Direct reports clearly better on several circumstances
    If not, change the leader!
    Blatantly taken and modified from HBS course slides “The Entrepreneurial Manager”
  • 23. Assembling Advisors
    Who do you want seated at your table?
    Identify and involve stakeholders
    Empower them to help you “fail quickly”
    Internal and external
    C.Y.A. contact
    Access to resources
  • 24. Momentum
    Identify (construct) small wins
    Authentically, frequently, and visibly recognize others
    Seek or modify projects for easy wins
  • 25. Dealing with failure
    1: learning experience
    2: wasted resources
    Seek proponents who understand failure
    Don’t shirk from telling the story
    Clear, understood mission perseveres
  • 26. Additional Practical Lessons
    Pattern recognition:
    +20% effort to tell story to +80% of stakeholders
    Professional documentation, frequent and formalized updates
  • 27. Journalism: Changing Business Model
    Unbundling of readers (going deep)
    BostInnovation(20-30, job-seeking)
    There’s a blog for everything
    Average reader: 2-5 news sources/day
    Cannibalization with emergence of new channel?
    Broadening scope of journalist activities
    Philadelphia Inquirer: video production for everyone
    Capture communities
    Collected around issues
    Al Jazeera English – to Comcast: growth in February
    Overseas brand expansion
    Chinese version WSJ
    Changing organizations
    Shrinking staff
    Mergers / disruption
    Sources: Interviews with journalists and publishers.
  • 28. Journalism: Technological Opportunity
    Appointment publishing
    Barstool Sports
    Game mechanics
    Data-driven content production
    How are they monitoring consumption?
    Understand analytics (internal, and advertisers)
    “People follow people”
    Crowd-sourcing journalism
    Sources: Pew, State of the News Media, 3/14/2011; Interviews with journalists and publishers.
  • 29. Recap and Questions
    Examples of entrepreneurship and lessons learned
    “Relentless pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled”
    Promoter vs. Trustee
    Assembling resources; team; advisors
    Build and recognize momentum
    Learn from failure