his blog is about the Entrepreneur Competence Model, which consists of four essential elements: motivation, personal characteristics, qualities and knowledge. In addition, I explain the differences between knowledge, skills and competences.People use different words and concepts for the word competence. Not only people in general – and who can blame them – but also professional HR professionals and experts use different words for the same competence, which do not necessarily mean the same thing. There is a difference between knowledge, skills and competences. And again, skills are not the same as traits. Although they are all soft skills, they still describe a different part of the personality.
Granted, it’s quite tricky and there’s an overlap in what these terms mean. On the one hand, it’s kind of what you emphasize: quality or skill, but on the other hand, there’s also a clear difference in meaning. Skill is behavior and a quality can also include a quality that you use to express the skill. Perhaps still tricky to follow, Dr. Driessen solves this.
Why is it important to know the difference? If words mean different things, then they have different effects and thus impact on people, especially when it comes to personality. This also influences how and to what extent you can develop a personal characteristic?
This applies to the normal or general personality, but also to the enterprising character. Especially for entrepreneurs, it is essential to know what you can develop and what you need as a minimum to set up and run a business successfully.
The four essential elements of the Entrepreneur Competence Model
A new competency model has been developed for the personal characteristics of the entrepreneur . This is the Entrepreneur Competence Model (OCM). It grew out of scientific research on entrepreneurship and this model contains four essential elements.
Together they thus form the entrepreneurial competence:
- Motivation; why do you want to do business?
- personal characteristics; who are you really as an entrepreneur?
- Qualities or skills; what are you good at as an entrepreneur?
- Knowledge and experience; do you know what others know, which you can use in your company?
It is vital to understand the differences in meaning, otherwise you could focus on the wrong aspects, which you cannot develop, change or influence.
Motivation; why do you want to do business?
There are two types of motivation. Internal and External Motivation . The motivation that comes from within (internal motivation) sets or prompted a person to become an entrepreneur. The opposite happens with external motivation. That motivation comes from outside the person to become an independent entrepreneur.
The entrepreneur with a high score on Achievement Orientation, and Autonomy and Dominance is highly motivated to start his own business. The situation of being his own boss fits him like a glove. These are clearly internal drivers. First, he can aim as high (achievement) as he wants. Secondly, he can do what he likes in his business (independence). And third, he tells others what to do (dominance) instead of someone telling him what he should do.
Make no mistake; this does not say anything about success: he is only more suitable for self-employment. All the more so, because he has no chance of being able to work under a boss for long. He just wouldn’t be an ideal employee.
In addition to these internal motives, people almost always have an external motive; a reason that pushed them towards entrepreneurship. For example, someone did not have a job, was not looking for a market opportunity but saw becoming self-employed as the only remaining option or was offered to work as a self-employed person for his boss’s client. These are external drivers.
But what if the external motive (suddenly) disappears? Then the entrepreneur falls back on his internal motivation. However, if there was little or no presence in the beginning, there is a good chance that the entrepreneur will soon stop.
Personal characteristics; who are you really as an entrepreneur?
Personal characteristics say something about your character. It is so firmly attached to you that it is visible and identifiable to others. Think of someone else whose presence is dominant or prominent. Many features will characterize them. Often referred to as personal traits or characteristics,
Which includes characteristics and thinking styles. Indeed, characteristics are not easy to learn. You were more or less born with it and evolved into the person you are today. The characteristics are an essential part of the results of the E-Scan. These qualities make someone enterprising.
- Performance orientation
- Self -employment – Reading tip: two sides of the same coin
- Social orientation
- Self confidence
- risk appetite
In addition, someone also possesses certain entrepreneurial thinking styles. That says something about how someone thinks and indicates the direction and role that someone can take in business.
Qualities; what can you do well as an entrepreneur?
A skill or ability means the same thing. Something you are good at: a high skill level. Thus, these terms are interchangeable. Sometimes it is also referred to as qualities. Even if there is a small difference in meaning, we classify qualities under skills. At least qualities are easy to learn. That is, at least easier than personal traits. So you could consider them as transferable. Moreover, the qualities of an entrepreneur are split into two phases. Firstly, the qualities that belong to the early phase of an enterprise and secondly, the entrepreneurial qualities that fall under the mature phase of an enterprise.
In the early stages, you should focus on bringing in customers and adapting yourself and your business to the market. You need qualities that meet their demand. While you need management skills once the company matures. Then the focus of the entrepreneur shifts from outside the company to more inside the company. The qualities that are important for an entrepreneur are the first three qualities mentioned below. They therefore relate to the management of an SME:
- Leadership; setting out and jointly achieving business goals
- Schedule; preparing and managing employee performance
- manage financially; look ahead financially and act in advance
- Market Orientation ; market segments, trends, customer needs and pitching
- Creativity ; find multiple solutions to business problems
- Flexibility; adjusting goals and plans to changing circumstances and customer wishes
In addition to the above skills, every business owner also has some work-related skills.
Knowledge and experience; do you know what others know that you can use?
Knowledge and experience are of course about the basic elements of entrepreneurship. For example, the aspects that you see in every business plan.
- Marketing and strategy
- Organization and (ICT) technical knowledge
- Finance and financing
- Market demand and sales
Learning styles of entrepreneurs
It is the owner-manager’s complex job to ensure that all these areas of knowledge are covered and lead to organizational performance. It is of course also crucial that an entrepreneur knows how to learn best. In other words, what is his entrepreneurial way of acquiring knowledge? What kind of learning type are you? His different learning styles are of additional importance for this.
- accommodator; learns by doing, but analyzing information is a problem.
- Diverger; learns by observing and generating ideas, but finds it difficult to be practical.
- converger; learns by putting it into practice and solving specific problems, but tends to turn a blind eye to other ideas and suggestions.
- assimilator; learns by carefully analyzing problems and information, but fails when immediate action and decisions are required.
Most entrepreneurs have a certain learning style and that determines how they process knowledge. As a result, they become blind to information that does not suit their learning style.Does the entrepreneur need to know everything? No of course not. The entrepreneur must know what knowledge and experience is required for his company. However, he should at least have an idea of how to acquire this knowledge for his company or learn it through training. Networking and critical thinking are therefore essential skills that can help with this. For aspiring entrepreneurs, figuring out where to start when starting their own business can be a daunting task. However, the complexity and multiplicity will almost certainly have a negative effect on their self-confidence.
Jack of all trades, at home in all markets
So without the combination of knowledge, skills and competencies, it is almost impossible for an owner manager to deliver a successful performance. Everyone has a certain skill level, of course. In other words, everyone has a certain degree of motivation and personal characteristics, which are more or less suitable for doing business. Moreover, with E-Scan you can quickly discover these levels. It will surely reveal a strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur. Although everyone wants or strives for a high score on personal traits and entrepreneurial qualities, the reality is that no one scores high on everything.
All in all, it places complex demands on the manager of any company. It is without a doubt a demanding role to play. A difficult job or job that takes 24 hours 7 days a week, because you are always responsible. That’s why you take your work home with you. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that you can organize your work around you the way you want. Moreover, you can do it in such a way that it complements and completes your personal entrepreneurial profile. Entrepreneurial coaching can certainly help to meet those complex requirements.