What are your roles, holes and goals?

If and when you decide to start your own company or work with a client, you will have to have a plan to evolve as a leaderpreneur i.e. someone who know how to lead innovators. Doing so will require that you periodically assess your personal and oganzational roles, holes and goals to see if you are still the right person to do the jobs that need to be done.

Roles have to do with which position you will play on the startup, scaleup or grown up team? Is it a problem seeker, a problem solver, a money finder, a business builder, a customer finder, a scorekeeper, a legal eagle, a people connector or some other role that your title may or may not completely convey? If you are considering being an advisor e.g. can you deliver these M’s?

The pathway to participation in biomedical and clinical innovation is different depending on where you are where you are and where you want to go and depends on whether you approach it from a business, clinical or technology perspective. Unfortunately, many think doctors are terrible business people, doctors think business people are terrible doctors and technologists are from Venus and doctors are from Mars.

Holes have to do with which problems you are tasked to solve not just in your organization, but where you have personal knowledge, skills,attitude and competency gaps as well. What are the expectations?

Mindset is but one of many entrepreneurial competencies you will need to succeed. Others include:

Opportunity recognition pertains to one’s ability to scan and search for new information, connect the dots between incidents that appear to be unrelated with limited cues, and recognize patterns or ideas that suggest potential opportunities in the myriad cues or signals that they receive (Baron, 2006).

Conveying a compelling vision/seeing the future reflects an individual’s proclivity for effective communication where he or she can translate his or her vision into condensed, clear, and intriguing messages to important stakeholders (Chen, Yao, & Kotha 2009).

Ability to maintain focus yet adapt speaks to the entrepreneurial experience. This ccan include considerable ambiguity and uncertainty, significant obstacles, ongoing emergence of new opportunities, and continuous change in circumstances (Morris et al., 2012). The entrepreneur must continuously adapt, change, modify, and switch while maintaining a self-regulated focus in the midst of volatile conditions (Haynie & Shepherd, 2009)

Resilience captures the cognitive tendency of an individual to cope with stressful, adverse, and devastating situations, to be able to recover from failures, and to constructively sustain his or her efforts to pursue goals. In reality, successful entrepreneurs are not easily beaten by distress or rejections. Instead, they are able to remain or resume a calm state of mind, to tactically frame and analyze problems, dig into the root cause of failures, and to search for ways to get back on track again (Sinclair & Wallston, 2004).

Interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration refers to the ability of individuals to form partnerships with a team of professionally diverse individuals in a participatory, collaborative, and coordinated approach to share decisionmaking around issues as the means to achieving improved health outcomes (Orchard & Curran, 2003).

Assessing the feasibility of an opportunity emphasizes the need for innovators to make evaluations or judgments on whether emerging information or changes would lead to viable opportunities with profit potential (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006).

Self-Efficacy/Confidence relates to an entrepreneur’s self-confidence and selfassurance about his or her ability to take on challenges, to perform certain set of tasks as needed or expected, and to control processes, contingencies, or consequences in the entrepreneurial pursuit (Bandura, 1997; Baron & Markman, 2005; Tierney & Farmer, 2002). 

Building and using networks concerns one’s ability to establish, maintain, and structure his or her contact network(s) in ways that foster relationships, enhance access to opportunities and/or resources, and potentially lead to realization of his or her objectives (Aldrich, 1999).

Tenacity/Perseverance refers to the extent to which entrepreneurs are committed to seeing their vision through, to endure the long journey to carry out venture creation, to work fervently despite challenges or adversity, to maintain interests, and persist with efforts in achieving goals (Duckworth & Quinn 2009; Hmieleski & Corbett, 2006).

Understanding of healthcare systems entails having a firm grasp of the various components of the health system and an understanding of the major issues faced by the stakeholders.

Resource leveraging/Bootstrapping describes the need to overcome resource constraints by leveraging resources from others. It also reflects a tendency for innovators to demonstrate an inclination towards effectual rather than causal reasoning in bringing together unique resource combinations (Greene &Brown, 1997; Honig, 2001; Politis, Winborg, & Dahlstrand, 2011).

Creative problem solving/Imaginativeness is characterized by Schumpeter (1942), who posited that creative destruction plays a key role in the innovation process. Innovators who start something are engaged in a process of creative imagination in which opportunities are exploited by continuously combining resources in new ways (Kirzner, 1973; Chiles, Bluedorn, & Gupta, 2007).

Design thinking is a human-centered, prototype-driven process for innovation that can be applied to product, service, and business design. It is the process of questioning, observing, and experimenting, so that you can become better equipped to capture valuable information and develop new business ideas. It requires experimentation in order to understand how things work, to test new business ideas or different approaches, and to look for valuable insights that may emerge in the process (Brown, 2008).

Guerrilla skills is a label adapted from a warfare context, describing approaches that center on clever ways to take advantage of one’s surroundings, do more with less, to rely upon unconventional tactics, and to utilize resources not recognized by others in accomplishing tasks within entrepreneurial firms (Schindehutte, Morris & Pitt, 2008).

Risk management/mitigation involves the systematic monitoring, assessing, hedging, transferring, and/or exploiting multifaceted risks encountered as an innovation initiative unfolds. Risk-aversive attitudes discourage individuals from innovative activities (Cramera et al., 2002), while successful entrepreneurs are willing to first recognize and bear the uncertainty or risk needed to take entrepreneurial actions, and are able to manage risk rather than simply trying to avoid risk (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006).

Cross disciplinary knowledge refers to an understanding of the connections, interrelations, and interactions between different fields of knowledge (Mosseri, 2006).

Change management is the ability to understand and manage driving forces, visions, and processes that fuel large-scale transformation (Kottler, 2011).

Information management is the collection and management of information from one or more sources and the distribution of that information to one or more audiences.

Behavioral economics refers to an understanding of psychological, social, cognitive, and emotional factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions, and the consequences for market prices, returns, and resource allocation (Lin, 2012). It is the understanding that drives decision making.

Leadership There is a strong link between leadership and innovation

Mindset Innovation starts with the right mindset

Goals have to do with your personal and organizational key performance indicators , objectives and key results.

Your compensation will often be tied to how you answer these questions, so be sure you understand and agree with the answers before joining the team.

Your roles, holes and goals will evolve as an enterprise grows ( or be irrelevant if your enterprise fails) so you will need to evolve with them. Here are some tips on how to change your personal leadership strategy as things inevitably change.

It is but one of many startup and scaleup challenges

Here’s how to keep your job as your or your client’s company grows:

Creating, scaling and reinventing a business is a movie, not a snapshop. So is your personal development, so pay attention to both and create a plan for next steps or someone will find it for you. Sometimes that’s the exit.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@SOPEOfficial and Co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship