Being enterprising involves being prepared to take risks and to ‘think out of the box’ in developing solutions to problems. The term culture refers to the typical way of behaving within an organisation or in society as a whole. An organisation therefore with an enterprise culture is one where people are imaginative and creative, rather than reluctant to take risks. Most successful businesses in this country in recent years typify the ‘enterprise culture’. This applies to a range of small and large enterprises. In big companies, there is sometimes a danger that the organisation develops a structure that discourages enterprise. However, one way of getting around this has been to organise people into teams where they are encouraged to make decisions for themselves providing they keep in line with the overall objectives and targets of the organisation as a whole.

Thinking out of the box

The Case Studies in The Times 100 illustrate a range of organisations that are based on enterprise culture, and in which the people that make up these organisations have been empowered to make decisions for themselves rather than wait for instructions.

Society as a whole can develop an ‘enterprise culture’. This involves moving away from a ‘dependency culture’ where people continually expect others (often the government) to sort out problems for them. Enterprise culture is made up of enterprising people who are prepared to challenge existing ways of doing things and to come up with new ideas and solutions to the benefit of society as a whole.

The term ‘thinking out of the box’ refers to being able to think beyond the straightjacket of existing ways of tackling problems or arranging activities. It requires some form of original thinking.