The Four Capacity Building Pillars of Entrepreneurship

Strategy Plan One

March 7, 2012

Capacity BuildingCapacity Building for Strong Entrepreneurship

To be a successful entrepreneur, individuals must build capacities in four key strategic areas – Operational, Management, Financial Management, and Personal capacities.  Entrepreneur capacity building involves developing the combination of all four capacity elements, to provide the ingredients for a great entrepreneurial success soup.

Some of these capacities are gained through experience throughout your career, while others are learned through educational avenues.  Some successful entrepreneurs are born with strong personality traits, and some behaviors are strengthened through learned responses in the business environment.

Here are the four key categories of capacity building leading to the development of successful entrepreneurs.

Operational Capacity Building

Having a brilliant understanding of an industry and business at ground level builds operational capacity.  This of course involves working in a variety of business operations for a period of time prior to diving into entrepreneurship.  This is where you gain valuable insight into what makes businesses tick.  Understanding the dynamics on the floor, in the cubicles, in the field and out on the road, gives you the perspective on how to lead, organize and plan for operations.

Management Capacity Building

Taking operational experience one more step, gaining management experience in a field or business will be directly applicable to managing your own business.  The valuable experience you gain managing operations, resources and people will give you the applicable tools for your own business.  With a few years of management experience, you will gain management capacity and an understanding of responsibilities and accountabilities at that level… all precursors to managing your own company.

Capacity BuildingFinancial Management Capacity Building

Through a combination of work experience and education, you need to be well-grounded and versed in managing finances. You need to be able to accurately estimate and build financial statements and to understand them.  With gained skills, you will need to be able to analyze financial statements, looking at trends and indicators and what those all mean to your business.  Financial reports provide key indicators and information on the business’ financial health…there is a wealth of information in the financial statements.  Other parties, partners and financial institutions will be looking at you and your organization’s ability to manage finances.

Personal Capacity Building

Of extreme importance, if you don’t have some key personal, entrepreneurial traits you may be closing up shop fast.  Some people are born with strong traits while other behaviors can be picked up along the development pathway.  Demonstrating strong traits and behaviors such as dedication, perseverance, ambition, determination, strong-will, openness, honesty, transparency, fairness, etc may move you along the pathway to become a successful entrepreneur.

Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Best Practices – Encourage, Promote and Share Best Practices

Strategy Plan One

March 1, 2012 


Best PracticesBest Practices

In your business or organization, teams and units work to find effective and efficient operations, methods and procedures.  Most of the time through the normal course of business evolution, teams find brilliant solutions.  As a leader it is in your realm to bring teams together to encourage them to share best practices, to bounce great ideas off each other, and to create a constructive learning environment.


The sharing of best practices across multi-functional teams is one method of implementing continuous learning and improvement processes.  Success is achieved at many levels when best practices are shared and implemented across business units.


Identification of Best Practices

As a leader in your business you may note differential results between units that do the same work.  In your regular meetings and briefings, investigate the methods and successes that are isolated or behind the scenes.  Best practices may be revealed from frequent communications and engagement with individual staff members and with teams.


Best PracticesEncourage and Promote Best Practices

Great work and efforts should be recognized.  Incorporate recognition in your organization as a way to illustrate appreciation across colleagues.  Promote an environment where teams can openly share what works well for their units.  Promote an environment where teams can learn.  The combination of sharing best practices and open learning environment spells potential success broadly across the organization.


Best Practices Forums

If your organization is large, establish a formal setting for the sharing of information and effective practices.  Forums or working group meetings assist in bringing large groups together to share a broad array of topics.  Structured, these forums can result in improvements to cross-functional units that are not related, such as an administrative efficiency that improves the general operation of all units.


Intellectual Property

As a leader ensure you identify any process, product or design that may fall into your business’ intellectual property rights.  Pay close attention to the best practice or method as it may warrant protection of intellectual property.  Investigate whether patents, trademarks and copyrights should be filed with your Federal Patents office.


A very effective way to improve your organization across individuals and business units is to share and implement best practices.  Allow your professional teams to help others be successful with results-based best practices.


Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Capacity Building with Successful Training Programs

Strategy Plan One

February 28, 2012 


Capacity BuildingCapacity Building


Capacity Building within your organization starts with successful training programs.  To achieve success in training programs, research the capacity building needs of your organization, and the needs of employee development.  Significant surveying of the potential participants should take place – this will shape your program.  From this point, strong and detailed planning will be required to take your training initiatives into successful capacity building territory.


Mandatory Training Programs for Capacity Building


If the training is essential or mandatory for your staff, then your employees need to be committed.  To make that experience more value-added, ask employees for their input into mandatory training, which could involve flexible scheduling, involvement in the design and preparation, and pre-emptive messaging on the importance of the mandatory training programs.


Value added Training Programs


Capacity BuildingIf the training program is one of value, but not mandatory, it is sometimes a hard sell.  An example of this would be skill enhancement or management training for organizational development.  Programs such as this require gauging employees for interest.  The organization has a vested interest in the capacity building of internal employees, as this may be the most cost effective way to retain human capital and corporate knowledge.  To the employee developing and moving into management of specialized area is not a mandatory exercise but one of choice.   The benefits of the training program and future prospects within the company must be promoted.


Capacity Building Benefits of Training Programs


Organizations must zone in on the benefits, especially the benefits to the employee, which will result in benefits to the organization through capacity building.  The highest priority should be to convince employees that training will absolutely benefit the employee first, organization second.  This will enable a high-level of buy-in when the employee benefits are placed out front.


Similar to promoting products or services to the populous, organizations must develop the right messaging around training and development programs for their employees.  A well-developed training program will demonstrate how the organization will assist with the personal and professional development of employees, with no huge commitment from the employee.  If the employee is quite demanding with training and development that they are interested in, that is a different story, and may require a bit of negotiation and commitments from both the employer and employee.  With expensive management training an organization may want a commitment from the employee, such as strategic employee retention, development and promotion.  Strong commitments will create strong relationships between employee and employer.


Training and development programs are essential to capacity building within organizations and staying competitive in the global environment.  As noted special emphasis must be placed on ensuring there is a two-way beneficial aspect of the training program to get maximum buy-in from staff leading to a successful training program.


Tracking Capacity Building Progress & Results


To round off the procedures for successful training plans, ensure you track progress and results.  With any project such as a training program, measure the effectiveness and return on investment.  Revise accordingly for continuous capacity building in your organization.  You will note progress when your units are gaining capacities in operations and management, and if your employees are buying in, you will achieve a high retention of your staff.

Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Infographic – greatest innovators of all time

Strategy Plan One

January 29, 2012








This is an interesting graphic (2012 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index)  illustrating the perspectives from our youth.  It also reminds us all that Steve Jobs, among many other brilliant people in the past, may have been one of the greatest innovators an inventors of all time.

We would hope and dream that individuals have been inspired by great innovators and entrepreneurs of the world, to carry on essential creative and build beneficial companies, products and services.


Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Hockey is like a business

Strategy Plan One 

January 29, 2012 

In the middle of the NHL Allstar game, I thought it would be fun to post the similarities between hockey and business.   Check out our list, and feel free to comment and add:


  • Hockey – one goal of a hockey team is to score goals
  • Business – set goals and achieve them

Team Work

  • Hockey – need six players on ice and multiple lines firing and working together to achieve wins
  • Business – need all employees and units collaborating and working together to achieve  company goal and objectives


  • Hockey – depends how many teams you have in your league, represents how many competitors you have
  • Business – depends how many similar businesses are competing in your industry, markets and local area

Revenue Goals

  • Hockey – the more hockey goals (wins, cups) that are achieved, the more revenue the team makes
  • Business – the more company goals that are achieved, the more revenue that the company makes


  • Hockey – hockey teams have GMs, coaches and captains that lead different levels of the organization to achieve goals
  • Business – business organizations have CEOs, GMs, Managers, and Supervisors that lead different levels of the organization to achieve company goals

What’s your take on hockey – business similarities?

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Strategic Tips to Improve Employee Performance


Strategy Plan One

January 27, 2012 


1.             Frequent and consistent recognition

Employees always want to know that they are appreciated for their efforts.  Recognition is one of those things a leader can do that can have a major impact on employees, and it doesn’t cost a dime.  For some low performing employees, this exercise may be difficult, but tactful handling will provide results.  By noticing and informing an employee of positive small steps, that employee may turn into a star performer.  Communicate with employees frequently and create a positive environment by recognizing all efforts.


2.             Empower employees to take the lead on projects

As an employer, you have already taken adequate steps to identify and hire the right people.  As a leader, you will need to let go of some of the hands-on operational projects.  Empower and encourage your employees and subject matter experts to take the lead.  Those employees will feel valued and will take ownership of a project.  Employees will be motivated to meet a company objective along with a personal goal in leading a project from initiation to successful completion.


3.            Involve staff in the decision making process

Make employees feel valued by asking them to become involved in the decisions of the company.  Once employees know that their efforts have been recognized and considered in the decision making process, employee behaviour will switch to becoming more involved and participation will increase.


4.             Provide constructive, positive tone feedback to employees

It is sometimes difficult to approach an employee about low performance.  Instead of an initial attack or criticism of the performance, a better approach would be to provide constructive feedback.  An example:


Bob’s track record on assembly line A was lower than the other employees.  Management approached Bob, recognizing the small efforts first, mentioning performance issues, ending with compliments to him as a valued employee.  Management stated they valued his opinion and asked for his feedback for improvements.  Bob reacted positively and performance increased.


5.             Conduct regular employee performance appraisal and development sessions

As part of your regular human resources core functions, structure employee performance appraisals and personal development procedures into your human resources plan.  On a quarterly or semi-annual basis, schedule employee performance appraisals.  Structure those sessions to include mutual feedback between the manager and the employee.  Go over the things that are working well and the elements that need improvement.  In areas that need improvement, a leader must encourage employee development and the manager must dedicate the resources to improve the deficiencies.  The appraisal process should also be an opportunity for the employee to provide feedback on the organization and management.  The manager should embrace an open environment where all constructive feedback is encouraged.  Employees will buy-in to an open appraisal method and performance will improve as the employee develops.


Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur