As many of you know, my professional background includes a decade in some of the country’s largest law firms. My experience as an associate, I believe, was very similar to life in corporate America.
Large law firms with hundreds and even thousands of lawyers across the country and around the globe have many processes and procedures, and a lot of internal governance as to how the business works. Each firm has its culture. Like corporate America, most law firms want operations done their way. And that becomes normal.
Then I left.
I started my law firm in April 2012, and over five years it evolved into my business strategy firm. It’s been a very genuine experience. But I learned a lot from my time in corporate America. And some of those lessons still apply today.
#1. Corporate America loves processes and procedures. That can be good. Many small businesses don’t have enough processes and procedures. We need more, and we need them to be flexible and realistic. We want to evolve with the market, change, and spot opportunities to serve our customers better and better. While corporate America is about very strong and stringent processes and procedures, they are often hard to change. In the independent environment of entrepreneurial America, we want to make our processes and procedures known. We want to update them to be realistic.
#2. Corporate America kills creativity. It’s often difficult to be yourself in corporate America because the processes and procedures are so strong and so overbearing. That means creativity is lost. We don’t want that. We want to make a process and procedure where creativity is encouraged, where employees are allowed to think outside the box, and where the business evolves to match the needs of the marketplace.
We want to build cultures different from those in corporate America, where creativity is often buried or discouraged. The true entrepreneurial spirit explains why small businesses can grow and even take over their corporate America cousins that are asleep at the wheel.
The last things we want to do are neglect to set up processes and procedures and tear down creative spirits. We want to make these things work correctly.
What are your observations? What have you seen different between corporate America and the America we have in entrepreneurial businesses? What would you encourage people to think about as they leave corporate America? Join us in the comments below and let us know your thoughts and experience.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Ria Mendoza.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.
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