Billions of dollars are made every day by new start-up businesses that successfully disrupt the traditional operating models in their fields. The fortunes being made by these entrepreneurs has attracted interest from the all areas looking to get on board early. Wanting to be an entrepreneur – the next Instagram, Facebook or WhatsApp – has become an aspiration for a generation, and organisations are starting to identify the benefits of developing entrepreneurial skills within their own ranks.
Developing entrepreneurial talent is not an easy process. The budding entrepreneur needs to think differently, be able to work in high pressure environments, have the passion to follow their dreams and the commitment to risk everything for the chance to succeed. The skills required to be a successful entrepreneur cannot be easily taught using the traditional training methods.
There is a growing movement of corporations, venture capitalists, incubators and universities starting to leveraging the benefits offered by Embedded Learning in developing entrepreneurs. Embedded Learning involves creating a learning environment where you undertake the creation of a business supported by a formal learning structure made up of academics, entrepreneurial mentors, corporate advisors, and industry leaders.
It incorporates teaching the core skills and knowledge through formal methods and then applying them creatively to develop disruptive innovations under the watchful eye and guidance of mentors who have been there before. The key to its success is to not impede the innovation process by sticking to the rules, structure and limitations of the past, but instead provide a formal learning experience that develops the necessary skills, knowledge and insight to reduce the failure rate for start-ups.
Most of the larger universities and many forward thinking corporations (such as banks, telecommunications and retail) are starting to experiment with this alternative education approach by creating learning ecosystems that provide everything an up and coming entrepreneur needs to develop in the one inspiring location or lab. Some prominent early adopters are Harvard University and MIT in America. Australian examples include the University of Technology, Sydney (which has just announced the Hatchery and IQ Hub with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak) and QUT which has established the bluebox.
Embedded learning will not only disrupt the way we educate but it will develop a better prepared generation of entrepreneurs and importantly provide valuable insights that will redefine the way established universities and companies evolve.
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