Entrepreneurial Leadership in schools

I gave the welcome to our Depute Head Teachers this morning at their first annual conference.  The theme for the day was “Entrepreneurial Leadership”

I began by reinforcing the difference between entrepreneurial leadership in a “for-profit” environment” e.g. Alan Sugar, and entrepreneurship in an educational (not-for-profit) environment – i.e. social entrepreneurship.

I shared three definitions of Social Entrepreneurship:

“innovative solutions to immediate social problems and mobilises the ideas, capacities, resources and social arrangements required for sustainable social transformations” Alvord and Brown 2004 

“social entrepreneurs are not for profit executives who pay increasing attention to market forces without losing sight of their underlying missions” Bronstein 2004

“social entrepreneurs play the role of change agents in the social sector by :

  • adapting a mission to create and sustain social value;
  • recognising and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities that serve that mission;
  • engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaption and learning;
  • acting boldly without being limited by resources currntly at hand.”   Dees 1998

Having set out this definition I reinforced the key role Depute Head Teachers have in improving education within East Lothian and that they have the capacity to operate as social entrepreneurs within their own schools and as a network.

I concluded by referring to Stephane Deneve and the notion of invitational leadership.

The challenge for us all is to create a context where people feel comfortable and able to accept that invitation.

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