From Intention to Action – the virtuous ladder

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From Intention to Action – the virtuous ladder

Norris Krueger developed the Theory of Entrepreneurial Intention: To move from thinking into acting, and, more importantly, to understand how entrepreneurs form images about opportunities, and then take appropriate actions to turn those dreams into goals (and subsequently into realities).

Krueger expands this a little further, we don’t need only entrepreneurs to start something (new) but to build better organizations, to become better entrepreneurs. In his own words: “In the language of cognitive science, we are helping novice entrepreneurs to become expert entrepreneurs”.

Krueger’s thoughts resonates with what we do in Silicon Valley, everyone adds a grain of sand and a drop of water to the vast universe of ideas that form the Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In this sense, the theory then moves from a pre-action (intention plus capacity) to action, to keep-acting. Entrepreneurial excellence could then be built as a series of steps in a ladder. This is probably as much as self-reflection as it is exploration.  Nobody is born educated (nadie nace aprendido) is a saying in Venezuela. One gains capacity with actions, Oh yes, one does not earn capacity with thoughts.

The flow seems then to move from (1) Unawareness to (2) Desired outcome to (3) Exploration / Education to (4) Action to (5) Reflection…

The flow is somehow interrupted by doubt, failure, confusion, and inspiration. A healthy reality check.


The trick then is to move swiftly between desire/ignorance to capacity/self-efficacy.  That shift from desire to capacity is a virtuous ladder, where we continuously want to grow: We desire a goal, acquire capacity, act, evaluate actions and rest, then recommit or enjoy.  A mountain worth climbing gets more than a day’s hike.

We don’t need more entrepreneurs, we need more EXCELLENT entrepreneurs.




By |November 14th, 2014|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Alicia Castillo Holley is an international speaker and researcher on innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture capital.

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