Vive the entrepreneurial spirit


Monthly Feature in Design Insider #6


Entrepreneurial Spirit is the first and one of Istoria Groups key brand values.

Being entrepreneurial is a mindset. Entrepreneurs think and act differently. For us, to be entrepreneurial means to be able to share ideas freely and fearlessly - even acknowledging so-called failures as learning and growing experiences. We encourage and expect entrepreneurial thinking at all levels of our team and seek to collaborate internally and externally to pinpoint the most exciting new future opportunities.

There’s no better way to sign off Claire Menzies final monthly column for Design Insider - Vive the entrepreneurial spirit!

If you want to catch up on Claire’s previous columns first, you can find them by following these links.

#1 - Liquid Retail. Move Faster

#2 - Sustainability? We can all do more

#3 - The case for collaboration

#4 - The power of the people

#5 - Work internationally. Travel light

Vive the entrepreneurial spirit.

What does it mean to be entrepreneurial?  Well, it begins with spotting an opportunity and having clarity about what you’re proposing, whether it’s a new value, service, product or method for being more innovative or efficient. Next, you have to commoditise your vision. You’ll need to be more than just motivated to create change – and certainly more than a dreamer. How fearlessly do you respond to the unexpected, for example? And how capable are you of acknowledging – and examining – failure?

If you’re looking to start a new business right now, my first advice would be to find a seasoned mentor; someone who’ll tell you straight – the good and the bad. Then, assess your risk levels thoroughly. As you might end up failing catastrophically, your initial risk shouldn’t be greater than moderate.

When it comes to which character traits will serve you best, tenacity is vital, though not stubbornness. Networking skills are good, as is a certain personability. Judgement and circumspection are important too, meaning you’re prepared to look inwards as well as outwards to find out what you’re good – and less good – at. Complement your own skillset at the earliest opportunity and jump straight on bad practice too. You’ll also need to listen hard to stay relevant. We’re launching an Innovation Lab right now to demonstrate curated new tech advances to our clients to see how they’re received, for example. All ideas need road-testing.

It can be hard – and lonely – to be an entrepreneur. With that in mind, we created an Incubator Hub to help with and invest in other people’s ideas. We currently have two businesses growing alongside our three core creative companies. We offer mentoring, free premises, regular monthly salaries and centralised systems until they get on their feet. Whilst we’re obviously looking for a return on investment, we’re not venture capitalists. We use the process to give our other agency teams the experience of helping take an idea from seed to market. When the yield finally comes, the originators’ share buy-back can begin.

Vive the entrepreneurial spirit we say!

Claire Menzies, Chairwoman

Claire Menzies, Chairwoman

‘i am a bookworm’ is one of our two Incubator Hub businesses currently.

‘i am a bookworm’ is one of our two Incubator Hub businesses currently.