Updated: May 19, 2020
As the calendar sped to the end of 2015, I was pondering in what direction to take our entrepreneurial activities at Judson University. Last year, we implemented CREATE2015, consisting of a speaker series in the Spring and two "shark-tank" events. But I have no desire to be in the event planning business unless those events facilitate a larger vision. This has been the crux of my dilemma.
As I investigate other entrepreneurial activities, they appear focused on a specific geographic area (e.g., 3rd world countries), a specific demographic (e.g., the millennial entrepreneur), or a specific skill set (e.g., innovation). Being at a smaller University with few resources, these visions are limiting to me as I suspect most of my time would be spent on finding people/students that also care about third world countries, millennials, or innovation instead of doing what entrepreneurs do - create value.
Right before Christmas, another professor and I exchanged small tokens of appreciation with each other. As coincidence or God would have it, we both gave each other the very same book called Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World's Most Successful Companies by Charles G. Koch. We agreed to spend part of our Christmas/New Year break reading the book so we would have a common framework. We also gave a third copy to one of our Judson University students who I hope will help us take our entrepreneurial efforts to the next level in 2016.
I am excited that we might have found a framework that enables organic growth of our entrepreneurial vision. As Koch writes, "Allowing people the freedom to pursue their own interests (within the limits of just conduct) is the best and only sustainable way to achieve societal progress" (p. 14). While the title of the framework leaves me uninspired (Market-based Management), the ELEMENTS of the framework resonate with what the leadership literature indicates must be in place for influence and change to occur. Those five elements are:
3. Knowledge Processes
4. Decision Rights
I am particularly excited about Virtue/Talents as I believe that element resonates with the vision of CREATE2015 and Knowledge Processes as that element embodies the critical thinking I personally think is so important to our success. As I sip my morning coffee on this second day of 2016, I find myself no longer pondering what should be, but dreaming about what will be. I am excited for what the future holds.