Effectuation is the scientific term for the entrepreneurial mindset and the most significant discovery made in entrepreneurship research in the last 20 years. If you are familiar with the principles and the process, you can get started while others are still working on their plans. This is useful particularly for those topics where the corporate mindset hits a stumbling block due to a high degree of uncertainty: innovative pressure, digitalization, Industry 4.0, cultural change and permanent change, to name but a few examples.

It starts with inspiration (keynote) and knowledge (training): anyone can learn how experienced entrepreneurs think. The “Self-Starters’ Marketplace workshop sees committed employees and leaders transformed into designers: Participants identify entrepreneurial reasons for action in their spheres of influence and become “captains” of their entrepreneurial “speedboats”. On the very same day, they recruit the first members of their crew and start independent projects in parallel with their everyday work. To ensure that this happens in a targeted manner, the management team formulates the strategic ambition and guidelines beforehand. During learning and networking workshops with the captains and leaders, these “speedboats” are adapted, guidelines updated and entrepreneurial action systematically practiced in an effectuation sprint spanning a period of several weeks. While the captains train the entrepreneurial mindset, the leaders improve the conditions for the entrepreneurial spirit in the company.

True Ambidexterity

Ambidexterity is the ability to use both hands. Companies need two modes, particularly in uncertain and dynamic times: the corporate mindset for everything that is predictable, and the entrepreneurial mindset when breaking new ground. Even in established companies, this is neither intuitive nor natural. With effectuation, leaders and employees learn to switch to entrepreneurial mode in a situationally correct manner. Thus, skills in dealing with the VUCA world become part of the corporate culture.