Why Innovative Companies Hire Entrepreneurs

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.
— Albert Einstein

Everyday, the educational landscape is changing. Here are a few of our favorite examples of "non-traditional" learning programs:

Praxis, a rigorous education and professional development program.

Khan Academy  a MOOC which offers free world-class education for anyone, anywhere

Khabele+Strong a place for students “to explore the entire range of knowledge. Conversations about love, life, and the universe. Go deep into those things - those things you love.”

The Waters Foundation offers academic and lifetime benefits to students through the effective application of systems thinking concepts, habits and tools in classroom instruction and school improvement.

And, as the list of alternative education programs grows everyday, more and more people are realizing “it’s ok to think outside of the textbook”- Michelle Battle-Fisher.

Today, companies are seeking employees who want to demonstrate personal mastery and are driven by owning their work, and these qualities are typically associated with an entrepreneurial background. So it’s no wonder why “one in three employers said they are looking for entrepreneurial experience in their potential hires”.

So, why do the most innovative companies want to “hire” entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurship is a favorable skill-set because it exposes people to a real-world and multifaceted experience, but so does alternative education. In fact, many alternative programs are designed to inspire young people by giving them the freedom to think like an entrepreneur and master skills like: resilience, innovation, creativity, and adaptability. These programs encourage students to showcase their skills and capabilities in more active, practical ways that demonstrate their passion and mastery - conversations, projects, websites and other original works. When you’re an entrepreneur, the project is you.

“Not only do we live in a knowledge economy, but also an economy which rewards creativity and innovation, and often, these people either have alternative backgrounds or come from alternative schools.” - Khotso Khabele

With the ever growing complexities of today’s business world, companies are beginning to  search for talented individuals who can think both holistically and analytically. The problem, as Linda Booth Sweeney wrote, is that “in school, many of us were taught subjects in a compartmentalized way," which limits our ability to practice systems thinking.

So, could it be true that the new competitive advantage for the workplace is adjusting to and accepting more people who have alternative education backgrounds?

The HumanCurrent podcast is hosted by Angie Cross & Stacy Hale. Subscribe in iTunes or listen at www.human-current.com. Stay tuned for our interview Michele Battle-Fisher on policy and when navigating complex systems becomes a matter of life and death.