STARTUPS SHOULD BE CON­STANTLY LEARN­ING

Cor­po­rate learn­ing will prob­a­bly al­ways be the most de­sired value and com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage for peo­ple to join cer­tain or­gan­i­sa­tions rather than oth­ers. It's also the granted ben­e­fit en­trepreneurs gain from estab­lish­ing their startups.

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE - BY NAGHAM ODEH Chief Learn­ing Of­fi­cer AUREA Con­sul­tancy

Cor­po­rate learn­ing will prob­a­bly al­ways be the most de­sired value and com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage for peo­ple to join cer­tain or­gan­i­sa­tions rather than oth­ers. It's also the granted ben­e­fit en­trepreneurs gain from estab­lish­ing their startups.

In the 21st cen­tury, the value of tacit knowl­edge is un­de­ni­able for suc­cess in business. Knowl­edge re­struc­tur­ing fu­elled by in­spi­ra­tion leads to in­no­va­tion. Learn­ing should be­come an in­no­va­tive plat­form to cre­ate more value for the in­tel­lec­tual cap­i­tal of com­pa­nies, where po­ten­tial en­trepreneurs are to be given the chance to in­no­vate com­pany's projects and be­come fu­ture in­de­pen­dent en­trepreneurs.

How­ever, it's the task of the es­tab­lished en­trepreneurs, the mod­ern man­age­ment ex­ec­u­tives and the game chang­ers to lead the way by giv­ing in­sight into what ex­actly it is in learn­ing that peo­ple should seek. How and why do we re­de­fine the learn­ing process as an ob­jec­tive other than the mere knowl­edge per se?

Tacit knowl­edge for startups’ value cre­ation

The im­pact of learn­ing in or­ga­ni­za­tions will be much more sig­nif­i­cant once the ob­jec­tive be­comes ob­tain­ing tacit knowl­edge. This means that in­di­vid­ual coach­ing ses­sions

and in­ter­ac­tive learn­ing pro­grammes that gen­er­ate in­sights, ob­ser­va­tions and de­velop in­tu­ition in business will reap great ben­e­fits, just as well as the stan­dard­ised tech­ni­cal learn­ing pro­grammes. Tacit knowl­edge will re­sult in a per­ma­nent change of be­hav­iour, hu­man ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and mind­set that stems from pro­cess­ing knowl­edge, ex­pe­ri­ence and prac­tice as ad­vised by John Brat­ton's con­cept of work­place learn­ing na­ture through his writ­ings.

Es­pe­cially in startups, en­trepreneurs and small business own­ers can reap enor­mous ben­e­fits once they re­alise the im­por­tance of learn­ing as a vi­tal propo­si­tional value to gen­er­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties and suc­cess in their ven­tures. Men­tor­ship, coach­ing, learn­ing about brand­ing, sto­ry­telling and how to stand out from the crowd whilst ex­press­ing your business feel, mantra and val­ues in a unique and artis­tic way are ne­ces­si­ties in to­day's world. There could pos­si­bly be more value in Cup­cakes and Abayas startups than just sell­ing cup­cakes and abayas, once there is a story and a strong business con­cept. At this stage, the ad­vice is to in­vest in en­trepreneurs' learn­ing through coach­ing for the business and its brand­ing to avoid early fail­ures and chal­lenges of a fu­ture scal­ing phase.

The chal­lenge in learn­ing

Com­pared to chal­lenges startups face in other coun­tries, Qatari ven­tures face fewer fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties and fund­ing is­sues due to govern­ment sup­port and grants for lo­cal SMEs. The vi­sion to trans­form Qatar from an oil and petroleum-based econ­omy into an econ­omy of hu­man cap­i­tal power has paved the way for Qatari youth's mo­ti­va­tion to in­vest in their en­tre­pre­neur­ial ideas.

The spe­cific learn­ing chal­lenge that many Qatari en­trepreneurs will face is that they might miss out on vi­tal tacit knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence due to the more com­par­a­tively fa­cil­i­tated fund­ing ser­vices avail­able in the coun­try. When fund­ing has fewer lim­i­ta­tions and more avail­abil­ity, the orig­i­nal en­trepreneur hard­ships in nor­mal com­pet­i­tive mar­kets shall not con­sti­tute a threat in this case. And since hard­ship is a cat­a­lyst for suc­cess and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, Qatari en­trepreneurs need to gain this knowl­edge in an­other way.

So, how would a fu­ture Qatari en­trepreneur com­pen­sate this ex­pe­ri­ence of growth in or­der to gain what their in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts of world en­trepreneurs gained al­ready? Qatari startups need hon­est and au­then­tic feed­back on po­ten­tial weak points of their business, which is manda­tory to pre­vent fail­ure once they have to stand on their own feet and keep their business run­ning and thriv­ing. As for in­di­vid­ual en­trepreneurs, in­vest­ment is needed for one-to-one coach­ing ses­sions for busi­nesses could help in their re­flex­ive learn­ing to en­able their de­vel­op­ment.

In our open, glob­al­ized world where ideas are eas­ily com­mu­ni­cated and shared on tech­nol­ogy plat­forms and me­dia chan­nels, it's not dif­fi­cult for business ideas to get re­gen­er­ated, re­pro­duced and un­for­tu­nately some­times copied, with IP le­gal rights lack­ing in some coun­tries in the de­vel­op­ing world. Yet, with the right guid­ance and lo­cal sup­port sys­tem the govern­ment of­fers through NGOs and with help from in­ter­na­tional con­sul­tan­cies, fu­ture Qatari en­trepreneurs should have a solid base to start with.

Cre­ativ­ity and en­trepreneur­ship at the be­havioural level

To ac­cel­er­ate the rise of cre­ativ­ity and en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit in the Qatari mar­ket place, the lo­cal per­sonal and business mind­set needs to be care­fully stud­ied and guided. It's the re­spon­si­bil­ity of both the ex­per­tise avail­able in the lo­cal mar­ket and of the present in­ter­na­tional as­so­ci­a­tions to boast the be­havioural de­vel­op­ment of Qatari en­trepreneurs in or­der to align them with the same level as their in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts. The pri­vate sec­tor should/ could play a big­ger role in this through boast­ing in­trapreneur­ship within their com­pa­nies, to cre­ate in­no­va­tion and to cre­ate suc­cess­ful fu­ture en­trepreneurs.

Be­sides, Qatari en­trepreneurs and own­ers of small busi­nesses need au­then­tic and trans­par­ent business feed­back, and def­i­nitely a re­flec­tive learn­ing op­por­tu­nity. Ideally, they should be of­fered coach­ing as­sis­tance that helps their per­for­mance, and they should be granted the op­por­tu­nity of in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for in­spi­ra­tion and mo­ti­va­tion.

The es­sen­tial con­cern about creat­ing a solid en­tre­pre­neur­ial char­ac­ter should be about the learn­ing im­pact and value to be placed within the peo­ple them­selves, rather than only the fi­nan­cial out­sourc­ing for ser­vices their ven­tures need. The high­est value is to cre­ate a per­son who cre­ates, gen­er­ates, learns, de­vel­ops and es­tab­lishes their own business per­sona, catal­y­ses their pas­sion and cre­ative mean­ing­ful en­tity

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