The word enterprise comes from the prefix enterprise and means ‘doing business.’ Put quite simply, an enterprise is an attitude. Put another way, the enterprise is the will of an individual or group to: Take chances. Show initiative. Undertake new ventures.
Is enterprise-level talent a valuable resource in managing innovation processes? Absolutely. Just as one would study an opera to understand its syntax or write an essay to learn its structure, managers and leaders studying an enterprise should also study the underlying technologies, human resources, and other dynamics that contribute to the success or failure of the enterprise. Doing so helps us understand not only what makes enterprise unique but also helps us specify a framework within which to think about and execute its unique needs and interests.
Some people argue that the term enterprise should be reserved for large multinational corporations with extensive R&D labs, call centers, and similar activities. Others argue that a small business with unique needs is an enterprise. Still others prefer to describe enterprises according to their components, i.e., types of businesses. However, “enterprise” can become a very confusing term, especially when applied to strategic planning and implementation. In any event, it’s better to be clear than to say what is wrong and to do nothing about it.