Dive into Institutional Entrepreneurship

Networking, servant leadership, pattern recognition……and more. The skills required by an institutional entrepreneur are diverse and critically important to system change efforts. Institutional entrepreneurs gain acceptance for innovative alternatives by working to change the beliefs, discourse, understandings, social interactions, resource expenditures and policies or laws which have held a problem in place.

As you develop a clearer understanding of what institutional entrepreneurship is all about, you may be interested to explore how these skills are used and for what kinds of outcomes. Often, institutional entrepreneurs attempt to skillfully work across scales on very broad systemic strategies. They, and their networks, work at multiple scales in order to reduce the resilience of a dominant/stuck system, while increasing the capacity and resilience of a high potential innovation to surface and gain wide acceptance. The following article further explains the relationship between agency and innovations that can significantly shift a system.

Watch the following video for an interview with Al Etmanski about his experiences as an institutional entrepreneur on the ground. Al led the successful campaign that eventually resulted in the world’s first Registered Disability Savings Plan. In this video, he talks about the challenges encountered, important values to hold and strategies related to ongoing scaling of the ‘success stories’.

Note: A complete list of all SiG educational resources can be found in our publicly-available document library. We hope you’ve found this pathway to learning institutional entrepreneurship helpful.