Women in Technology and Science

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

  • 7 October 2018

I was delighted to get the opportunity, via WITS, to attend the Enterprise Ireland and DCU event at The Foundry, Google Ireland on September 17th 2018.

As much to visit the cool Google HQ as hear from a super panel, I was drawn by the topic of how to create “An Entrepreneurial Mindset”.

My motivations these days are as a proxy learner. Having co-founded, grown and sold a so-called innovative tech company in the noughties I always struggled with the process of innovation and studied the area widely to ensure we were not over-reliant on one or two key inventors and scribbled plans on the back of beermats, glad I was of all great ideas!

I work now as a consultant and advisor with similarly ambitious driven companies, also battling to innovate, compete and delight their customers. Anything I can learn, pass on and apply with others is enormously rewarding.

And learn I did – from great entrepreneurs and speakers such as Maura McAdam (DCU) Garvan Callan, Sandra Healy (DCU), Liz Fulham (SalesOptimize), Ann-Marie McSorley (VERI) and Paul Mullin (White Hag).

Key take-aways?

  1. Entrepreneurs are driven by need, desire, ambition - and the fear of failure;
  2. Failure can be financially hammering, but should never reflect badly on those who try;
  3. Everyone likes to innovate, but no-one likes to change - so start by accepting the need for change, and commit to change;
  4. Be clear whether you’re aiming for the means (transforming culture) or the end (to deliver results);
  5. Give people the time and space to try things, experiment, and try again;
  6. Create a Concept Team – Stop something else to Start this;
  7. FAIL-ure is but a First Attempt In Learning;
  8. There are tools (yes, processes) to help stimulate creativity and innovation (ref Design Thinking, Black Swans, Scenario Planning – and many more not mentioned);
  9. Look to role models, ask for help, benchmark yourself against the best;
  10. Be positive, hire great people and stay focused on the customer!

Thank you to Sarita Johnston in EI, the great people in Google (Liz, Sandra & Paddy) and the Panel for sharing your time and insights, and to WITSwords for the invitation.

Article by Deirdre Smith, a WITS member

Deirdre Smith is Chartered Director of Green Point Consultancy and Associate at Redefine Consulting Ltd