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Do you have the Entrepreneur’s Gene?

By Jon Sawyer on 11/10/2016 - 0 Comments

We are not all cut out to be entrepreneurs and so what makes the few go off risk everything in the search of innovation and discovery.

Our success economically depends on our ability to nurture and develop the talent pool that will take new ideas and apply them in new ways to develop new products and services. Names of innovators such as Branson, Jobs, and Zuckerberg are synonymous with entrepreneurism, as they have been able to change the competitive landscape of what and how we buy products and services. Is this simply a question of nature or nurture i.e. are entrepreneurs born into their paths as the new innovators or do they learn these skills as they go?

James Spade (Director Magazine Oct 16) believes the one driving force behind each of these successful entrepreneurs is the fact that they can all be seen as ‘explorers’.  Such as the course plotted by Captain James Cook where he is quoted as saying that he intended to go ‘further than any man has ever gone before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go’. In the same way entrepreneurs are able to chart new courses for business in pushing boundaries well beyond a next level.

There has been a growing volume of research which has indicated the presence of an explorer gene. In 2013 the National Geographic highlighted the gene known as 7R which has been known as a marker for an explorer. Other traits being recognised for an explorer are being curious, creative, adventurous, impulsive and self-reliant.

Since the discovery of the human genome in 2003 it is widely acknowledged that there may be a serious of multiple genes that combine to exhibit forms of exploration. It is thought that around 20% of the population have this 7R gene, and so the question posed is are explorers entrepreneurs?

The traits of being an entrepreneur may have several parallels with that of an explorer. Both often have to cope with uncertainty and use their creativity to plan a new future. Such conditions and pressure on resources such as time and money may force this higher level of creativity. In terms of genetic influence various research sources have identified that the degree of willingness to seek out self-employment is hereditary.

Those with family links to running their own business may in turn pass this desire on genetically through to new generations. This does not mean that all those that are explorers or have family ties with business start-ups will become entrepreneurs. What is does show is the value an explorer can bring to the business can be immense in terms of challenging existing business practices and finding new ways of doing things.

Recognition of the explorer talent pool is vital as this will help business stay competitive and keep ahead of the competition. As we drive toward a Brexit in whatever form, the critical requirement is to enhance business competitiveness at all levels.

Harnessing the potential in our entrepreneurs and explorers will be seen as one of the key ways we can keep ahead of the rest. 

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