Are Management and Entrepreneurship at Odds?

Sometimes there is a tendency to think that managers are slow and controlled, and entrepreneurs are exciting and progressive. The manager thus hinders the entrepreneur and makes everything boring.

And this can happen. But that is bad management. And in the same way that bad management makes things too controlled, bad entrepreneurship makes things unsustainable. We need both good management and good entrepreneurship. And entrepreneurship is a key component of the managerial task.

Here’s how Peter Drucker puts it:

One important advance in the discipline and practice of management is that both now embrace entrepreneurship and innovation. A sham fight these days pits “management” against “entrepreneurship” as adversaries, if not as mutually exclusive.

That’s like saying that the fingering hand and the bow hand of the violinist are “adversaries” or “mutually exclusive.” Both are always needed and at the same time.

Any existing organization, whether a business, a church, a labor union, or a hospital, goes down fast if it does not innovate. Conversely, any new organization, whether a business, a church, a labor union, or a hospital, collapses if it does not manage.

Not to innovate is the single largest reason for the decline of existing organizations. Not to know how to manage is the single largest reason for the failure of new ventures. (The Essential Drucker, p 8.)

  • Scott Magdalein

    Great stuff! My church ( follows a schedule of sorts. It rolls in waves of innovation, growth, reorganization, innovation, growth, reorganization, etc. This process allows for a steadiness and continually being about to handle the increasing number of people that enter our doors looking for answers and comfort. I think my pastor would agree with Drucker here. (Disclosure: I work for LCTV.)