What differentiates successful entrepreneurs from failed ones?

Why do some organizations seem to produce and others cannot?

Are successful entrepreneurs just lucky or is there a logical explanation?

These questions were posed by Ernesto Sirolli, who describes in this Ted Talk his experience while working in Africa at age 21, as an Italian social entrepreneur. Initially Ernesto was puzzled why the local people would not “seemingly” do better for themselves, and why the money and resources continually dumped into the local communities never seemed to produce anything. He identified that over the past 50 years Africa has received over $2 trillion and it has significantly hurt the continent more than it has helped. After seven years of observing the local people and various western social entrepreneurial countries, attempting to change the culture and turn the continent around, Ernesto figured out this traditional model for change was inaccurate and wasteful. Through simple logic, Ernesto identified any attempt to control and influence people increases risk, and when entrepreneurs are placed in a non-traditional structure that aligns people and resources and utilizes expertise instead of telling them what to do, they will always add more value and produce more than the alternative.



Comments (1)

  1. Scott Jones


    I think this TED Talk and your commentary speak volumes about not only the issue with Africa, but with corporations in general. Too often do the people at the top of the food chain look at things from only their own perspective. They believe that their profits can increase, their products can improve in quality, and their paychecks can get fatter by simply making those at the bottom change. If they were to take a step backwards, look at the bigger picture, and maybe take a class on IMT, they would realize that the infrastructure itself needs to be changed, not the people. That is the only way to increase their gain.

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