Phases of Development

The pioneer phase

In its pure form, a pioneer enterprise is an enterprise that is still being run by its founder. It comes into being as the result of a creative act by a human being. This person is an entrepreneur; his or her personality structure is such that his or her perception and imagination are directed toward actual needs in economic life. He has a “realistic imagination.”

At some point in your life then, as a pioneer, you notice a consumer need and, instead of saying “someone ought to do something about this,” you decide to set about it yourself, providing a creative answer to the need at a price the consumer was willing to pay. With a few helpers and probably very little capital you set to work and found a small manufacturing firm, or a small transportation business, or some other service. Twenty years later you find, having learnt and developed, that through diligence and thrift you are now at the head of a flourishing little business with about a hundred employees.

Characteristics of pioneer enterprises

What does the organization of your firm look like at this moment? The pioneer is primarily interested in economic and technical performance (i.e., answering a need at a price the consumer is willing to pay). Your thoughts are occupied with the product you make and the market you create. You have a concept of a real objective and your organization is therefore the simplest form of an organization geared to an objective.

Leadership is autocratic ...

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