Thinking like an entrepreneur

Aalto University has adopted the entrepreneurial mindset as one of the cross-cutting themes in our new strategy, along with radical creativity and sustainability. But what exactly does an entrepreneurial mindset mean in practice?
Lauri Järvilehto

"With the pace of change accelerating globally, it is becoming increasingly important to work in a dynamic way to accommodate for the change. For entrepreneurs – startup entrepreneurs in particular – this dynamism has always been a driving force. 

Navigating changing markets and other unknowns are a necessity for any entrepreneur. Through continuous learning, they can adapt to any changes the world might throw their way. Through innovation, they can be a driving force for change. Through both, the pace of change will no longer be a threat, but it will become an opportunity.

Having an entrepreneurial mindset does not require you to start your own company. Instead, it means learning and cultivating traits such as risk-taking, learning from failures, intrinsic motivation, grit and tenacity. Entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial mindsets can be told apart through the simple gauge of how you relate to the problems you face.

Many people tend to try to avoid problems, sticking with what works. This could be a winning strategy in a static world, but the world we live in now is anything but stable. In turn, the entrepreneurial mind sees problems as opportunities and approaches them armed with radical creativity and other innovative methods.

If your way of thinking is entrepreneurial and you encounter something that troubles you, chances are that it is troubling others as well. In this case, by solving the problem, you might also be able to solve it for several other people. This may then become a substantial business opportunity, regardless of whether you solve the problem in an existing organization or a company of your own.

The entrepreneurial mindset – the dynamic, problem-seeking, risk-taking attitude that grows and learns from failure – is a crucial asset in the world of tomorrow, which will keep changing and challenging us faster and faster.

For one equipped with the entrepreneurial mindset, the pace of change will increase the number of opportunities for problem-solving. A changing world becomes not only possible to navigate and adapt to, but it also becomes an opportunity to push the change further to make the world a better place for everyone.

This is why we at Aalto University have committed to signing the UN Sustainable Development Goal accord. We aim to help everyone in the Aalto community learn more about the entrepreneurial capabilities that we think can help us tackle the most pressing challenges of our time significantly." 

– Lauri Järvilehto, Professor of Practice, School of Science

The entrepreneurial mindset is a crucial asset in the world of tomorrow, which will keep changing and challenging us faster and faster.

– Lauri Järvilehto, Professor of Practice, School of Science
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