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Boeing and Entrepreneurship

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Boeing and Entrepreneurship

Report by Barrington Black - s9303206


William Boeing was an engineering student whose love of aviation led him to form what is now the largest airplane manufacturer in the world. After making his fortune in real estate he decided that he wanted to design and build better aircraft having not been impressed by the then current models of airplane. The Boeing Airplane Company was established in 1917.

Whilst industry consensus had far from confident views of aircraft and it's place in society, Boeing used his own money to guarantee the wages of his 28 staff and by the end of 1917, with world war materializing, Boeing made his first order of 50 planes to the US Navy. A year later Boeing had 337 employees. By the 1950's, and after two world wars, Boeing had been present through the most rapidly changing era of all time and armed with scientists, engineers and state of the art facilities, was poised to look into the future and well beyond common ideas.

To fully understand the entrepreneurial culture present in the Boeing company today it is important to know that the founder himself was well and truly an entrepreneur. William Boeing and the Boeing Company journey is one of self belief, team building and risk - Classic entrepreneurial venture traits.

Boeings portfolio of technology, design, research, communication and management systems is of the most advanced in the world and continues to be at the forefront of industry standards. To not only maintain this standard but improve on the company's position, special programs have been introduced to train and retrain employees on how to think and work in an entrepreneurial manner. This manner of thinking ensures that the employees not only work in a particular way but also work in an entrepreneurial environment - growing ideas, working together and producing the best results. It's these results which have fueled the success of Boeing's overall strategy, growth.


The diagram above illustrates not only the state of mind Boeing employees are in but also show where the company's strengths are as an organization. To keep this situation and transfer it's attributes into a working model, Boeing has formulated initiatives such as the Chairman's Innovation Initiative, Phantom Works and various global collaborations including the Higher Learning scheme at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia. Each designed to educate members of Boeing staff in the type of thinking required to maximize the potential an individual within an organization can have on its output - no matter which department he or she may work.

As we can see there is a huge distinction between the Pay an employee gets and the satisfaction they receive from their job. Equally as impressive is the fact that this diagram illustrates that Boeing staff have an incredible worker to worker relationship which must be present in all departments at all times for it to translate into this snapshot of a companies mindset.

Important as the low end of this spectrum is in relation to teamwork, the best thing for Boeing is the by product of this - a nurturing and open environment where employees are valued for their input, and rewarded with productive involvement.

Formula for innovation

In the eyes of Boeing senior technology executives, the formula for innovation requires three basic ingredients:

* People. The genesis of technology is, and always will be, a human's idea

o That's why, in the words of Phantom Works President George Muellner, "intellectual capital is essential to our future."



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