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I can find lots of articles and information about how wonderful the "entrepreneurial gap" is for stimulating creativity and innovation, and how to do it (increasing "span of influence" and decreasing "span of control"), but I find nothing about intended duration, warning signs its not working, risks, and how to determine when it is NOT a best practice.

My specific questions are:

Can an "Entrepreneurial Gap" go on for too long?

What are some specific indicators that it ISN'T working and either span of control or span of influence needs adjustment?

What are some factors that would contraindicate the creation of an "entrepreneurial gap" as a viable option to increase productivity/success?

Are there risks involved? Is employee burn-out and frustration a risk? How can it be mitigated?

I'm asking because I suspect a long time ago (ten years) a leader who is long gone implemented this at my company, and due to nearly constant reorganizations, realignments, and "focus shifting" which has shuffled several leaders in an out and has resulted in my department being tossed about like a hot potato, or a "red headed step child" (no personal offense to the red haired folk or those with blended families intended!) We are now desperately understaffed and have become siloed (which is the opposite of the intended effect.) We suffer from "bad management" now, but it hasn't always been this way, and I don't think anyone foresaw how bad things could get.

I am working with two others in my department to come up with a plan to rebuild it. We've hit rock bottom, and we have yet another new leader coming in and another re-org has just kicked off. We're hoping that we can ride the wave of upheaval and use it as an opportunity to turn things around, starting with the staffing problem (understaffing is not the only trouble here-its just the most glaring offender.) I'd like to understand this theory better, but know literally NO ONE who even knows what it is, let alone has any experience (good or bad, from a leadership or employee perspective.) I think the conversation might be more productive if I and my team members can see this from "the view from the top" perspective, and tune our evidence/facts accordingly.

This is my first question here-please forgive any errors in form/content.

For those unfamiliar with what it is, here’s a link:

https://www.hbs.edu/ris/Publication%20Files/13-100_2d6016b2-6861-478c-a488-98ca7d71ba53.pdf

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  • It sounds to me like you ought to maneuver yourself into a management position! Maybe some of those folks could ... seriously ... benefit from your insights. // As someone who has over these many years "sat on both sides of that desk," I am actually utterly serious. (P.S.: "The other side" can sometimes be lonelier ...) – Mike Robinson Feb 15 at 1:14
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    I've never heard of an "entrepreneurial gap", and frankly, I'm not even sure I want to know what it means. Please just tell us what kind of company this is. Is this a growing company with a growing martket? or is it a company that thrives on streamlining and cost-cutting? What about your department? Does it earn revenue for your company? – Stephan Branczyk Feb 15 at 2:30
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    Anytime people start using long buzzwords to explain vague concepts it's broken. – Kilisi Feb 15 at 3:56
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    @Jax, Your department is a cost center, not a revenue generator. I really doubt the situation is going to improve for you if you stay there. What's keeping you there? A nice pension? – Stephan Branczyk Feb 15 at 6:41
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    Jax, in trying to answer your question I find that I don't understand enough of how you would define the entrepreneurial gap and what aspects of that definition are and aren't at play in the organization you work in. That paper is really broadly worded and leaves a lot open to interpretation. Without a 'working definition' to guide us, I'm not sure you'll get an answer that's specific to your organization. – MvZ Feb 16 at 9:57
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To be honest, it seems you're fixated on this methodology, when it appears it's long been cast aside by those in upper management and instead you're just left with bog-standard under-resourcing (and yes, just general mismanagement).

I think it's time you just make the assumption that whatever remnants of that organisational structure that remain are no longer serving the interests of the team, and work with your colleges and develop and ground up approach, as you are doing.

You can certainly get mired in some academic assessment of where it all went wrong, but given you not-so-flattering assessment of upper management, it seems the effort world be wasted.

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