Change is a really powerful force at work in many areas of our lives and world at any given time. We can chose to change or change can happen to us, one way or another change is inevitable. Our enterprises change, our bodies change, even the sunrise and sunset changes on a daily basis in my neck of the woods. If change is such a pervasive and integral part of our lives, why does it provoke such fear?
I’ve combined a couple of headlines from Twitter to get your attention. Forbes.com had an interesting article and video on Squashers today, and the Harvard Business Review had a post about Innovation Assassins. I am quite certain that in the realm of business the squashers and the innovation assassins are related. We all face them on a regular basis.
The International Year of Cooperatives was officially launched on January 12, 2012 by the United Nations to celebrate cooperatives around the world and raise awareness for an alternative business structure that requires an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed. Purists of the cooperative movement might be cringing at the suggestion that an entrepreneurial spirit is required but if you go to Merriam Webster for the definition of ‘entrepreneur’ you’ll see that the concept has possibilities.
Last week I was in contact with several small business owners and there was a common theme to the conversations. Each individual loved being an entrepreneur but they were all struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness. There is a unifying misconception among the entrepreneurs I spoke with, that they feel the need to be the one source of all information for their business. What a lofty and impossible goal to set for one’s self. Large corporations have teams of experts, each with their own area of knowledge, coming together to solve problems and set future strategies. Yet, the entrepreneur tries to do it all alone then wonders why they feel lonely and why they frequently fail.
Being able to focus is critical to the achievement of goals in one’s personal and professional life. But focusing is hard, we all encounter lots of distractions. The new Distracted Driving Law got me thinking, that maybe we need to adopt an Exercise in Focused Living.
There is a need for revolutionary enterprises to step into the chasm between the non-profit and for-profit business models, to form a new model. One that is bold, resourceful, industrious, socially responsible, and fiscally viable.
Several years ago a wise mentor told me the most important thing I needed to do as a project manager at the time, was to manage expectations. He meant my own expectations, those of the executives I reported to, those of the employees who would be impacted, and those of the customers who would also be affected. When I fully digested what he had meant, I was slightly overwhelmed at the responsibility. However, it proved to be the wisest tidbit that anyone in my work experience has ever shared and that is probably because of the sheer enormity of managing expectations well.
Recently, I told my university class that I remembered when faxes were introduced to business. This illicited looks of sheer disbelief and gales of laughter from the class, who were were not even born when that change happened. Faxes are so old school, they said. Well, they are right and I find myself on the edge of another technological precipice called social media.
This week, October 16-22, is Co-op Week and it is being celebrated world-wide by as many different kinds of cooperatives as you can possibly imagine. All of these cooperatives are community-based enterprises, formed by members for the primary purpose of providing a needed service or product to their community at an equitable cost.
If you have been asked to join a Board, or you are already a Director on a Board, you have a responsibility to familiarize yourself with the bylaws. Reading through the bylaws will help you to understand the framework within which the Board will function, the parameters of the Board’s decision making powers, and the general roles and responsibilities of Board members. By familiarizing yourself with the bylaws you can decide whether you are able to contribute to the