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Ian Teford. My assumptions of his motivations.
Telford's motivation seems to be money, although he also seems to be a person who cannot be content with one project, is restless and ambitious, and constantly rushing onto something new. He is also current with the times and is aware of opportunity when he sees. Recognizing that the Internet posed great opportunity and that he could use it, Telford saw where he could connect one thing with another (the epoxy business, operated by Dow Chemicals, with a dot.com presence) and proceeded to do so. Telford, too, was a pragmatic person. He focused on the bottom line: money, and realized that customers more than anything else wanted something that was cheap. In this way, Telford proves himself to be a practical person who focused on what customer's wanted, evaluated the need within the opportunities of the times and combined both to move ahead in competing. Telford also has a certain bravado and courage that some may call impetuousness and recklessness and others vision and braveness. Not afraid of taking risks, Telford proves to be an innovator who is able to read the future better than many others can and use it for his own good. On the other hand, Telford, too, seems to have a certain braggadocio that crosses perimeters and may make him fall into failure as readily as into success. He is also a self-starter (he volunteered to personally conduct research into the Internet), and he seems to be motivated, disciplined, and energetic. More importantly, Telford was persevering. He persisted in convincing management to accept his idea and then focused on achieving it.
How Telford's supporters supported him.
Telford's supporters had perfect trust in him and worked on his behalf in encouraging the higher echelons to adopt his ideas. In fact, Henry Vermaak, the then business VP for the company spent months laboring for acceptance of Telford's idea. They apparently admired Telford's originality and stunts and thought him a person who was 'different' and thought out of the box. To them, in other words, Telford had the brains, vision, and passion of being an entrepreneur and, more importantly, he was able to implement his ideas.
An analysis of Telford's ethical conduct.
Telford seems to spurn conventional rules. On the one hand that is good, since he is innovative and daring and it is often the person with the new ideas who wins. On the other hand, his recklessness may cause him to breach ethical principles. Certain of Telford's steps, indeed, seem to be tiptoeing on the perimeter of ethical questions such as when Telford advertised his offerings to be more than they were. It is difficult to determine whether Telford was violating ethics here. On the one hand, he did circulate a spoof article sandy videotape that claimed that certain companies were merging in an original innovative venture. The article and broadcast was a spoof. On the other hand, he wanted to create interest ahead of time and this was a dramatic way to do so. The video also announced that it was a spoof (although it was created in such a way that too many did not realize it to be so and were, nonetheless fooled).
Telford's lessons on being an entrepreneur.
Telford teaches me to 'take the bull by the horn' and not to fear possible failure of the project or not to be intimidated by the novelty of my idea that -- because it is new and different may be likely to fail. Telford's motto seems to be: Just do it. And this is wise advice, as long as it is accompanied by careful planning and thorough preparation. Telford also focused on the customer's needs rather than on the organizations' desires. He recognized that customers wanted a cheaper product. Fully in tune with the circumstances of his time, Telford connected this need with topical opportunity and was able to succeed particularly because he was not only able to think out of the box but was attuned to customers' desires all the time. Telford too persevered in working for acceptance of his product, and also important was the fact that Telford realized that both creativity and firmness had to be merged. In this way, Telford was no idealist: he was aware of social psychology and the way people functioned and used that in devising and implementing his ideas. Most importantly, what Telford teaches me is that having an idea is not the main thing. It has to be accompanied with implementation. Many people have ideas: it is implementation that actually makes inventions successful and it needs both to make an effective entrepreneur. Telford made and enforced business rules for the site, but at the same time he also knew his target market and promoted his products and advertising directly to them (and this is another lesson that Telford can teach me: to structure the invention with the target market in mind). Finally, Telford surrendered his other job to focus exclusively on implementing this one. Total absorption in the project is another important lesson.
An organization that is similar in its attitude of entrepreneurship.
The Telford incident reminds me of an organization in Japan that is struggling to implement the spirit of entrepreneurship. Matsushita, a giant Japanese electronics company, was founded in 1918. Traditional Japanese culture benefitted Matsushita during the 1950's to 1980's by creating a close and dedicated relationship between the company and its employees. Confucianism stressed integrity, ethical conduct, and loyalty, as well as dedicated teamwork. Employees were expected to be loyal to their superiors; and superiors, in return, rewarded and respected their employees. Research warranted dedicated professionals and researchers, and Matsushita founded a cohesive environment where researchers and employees, stimulated by generous advancements and job security, established a reciprocally advantageous nook in the company.
This same traditional atmosphere, however, discouraged innovation since the structure was hierarchical and rule based as well as founded on a system of, and respect to, elders. Traditional values became a liability in the 1990s and early 2000s when the world became globalized and Japan realized the need for creativity and 'young blood'. Individualism made itself seen as a demand; individualism encouraged creativity and innovation. Matsushita faced a turning point and needed to make difficult decisions. Fiscal difficulties caused the firm to announce changes in salary, benefits, managements, and protocol of employment. Matsushita however was in a bind: it was loath to expel its older more entrenched workers and so, whilst it was trying to attract the younger, more vigorous individual; it retained long-term contracts with its veterans as a matter of 'honor'. Matsushita, too, had become synonymous with tradition and they were loath to jeopardize this reputation (Blurt it). Caught in the middle between the conventional rule-based atmosphere of its past and wanting to transition to an atmosphere more profitably supportive of creativity, Matsushita has to weigh its options carefully... It seems to be treading that way, but going slowly, and it doesn't know how to make the change.
Changes that I may make to increase the spirit of entrepreneurship in the organization.
I may do the same thing as Stanley Works. .. In this way, Matsushita may manage to combine both ethics and an original spirit of creativity in moving ahead of their competition.
Stanley Works founded in 1843 in Connecticut, USA, as a manufacturer of hinges, bolts and other hardware became, over time, a global presence, and expanded its international operations to the extent that it now produces more than 50-000 different products, ranging from hand, mechanical, air and hydraulic tools to hardware, fastening systems, doors and automatic doors. It is present in every major region in the world, and sales revenue in 1997 was more than U.S.$2.67 billion. They almost became bankrupt in the late 1980s from an Asian competitor.
Stanley Works were aware that they were losing out, and their new CEO of the U.S Corporation, John Trani conducted radical changes. They conducted thorough preparation and analysis of their case and monitored each of their steps as they proceeded, in this way, they were careful to advance rigorously and ably without jeopardizing their own future. At the same time, their actions were performed within the auspices of perfect sustainability and ethical conduct. They were admired for their actions and were successful as a result (Stanley Works.com).
Trani sought to be ethical whilst introducing innovation and he implemented his change in two ways: via programs and via negotiation
Trani helped employees find and transition easily to their next jobs and his approach to change was done with commitment to honesty and openness. Employees were also told what the changes were and why they had to occur, and in order to address their fears, Trani implemented a range of measures. These included the following:
1. The 'over 50s' section of the workforce was given special consideration.
1. Professional firms provided outplacement and financial advisory services in the earliest stages in recognition that the job market would…[continue]
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