If venture capital investors worked like not for profit funders

There is a need for innovation and accountability in the social sector but there are many challenges that get in the way. One of the major impediments is the way not for profit organizations are funded. To illustrate these challenges I will present a scenario where venture capital and angel investors work like not forContinue reading “If venture capital investors worked like not for profit funders”

Social Business Part 1 — The stalled emergence of the social enterprise

The concept of the social enterprise is increasingly found in the news, social media and in the organizations arising to support them.  The social enterprise is expected to provide solutions to social issues while also being sustainable.  This sustainability is accomplished through a hybrid of not-for-profit and for-profit business models.  In my observation these entitiesContinue reading “Social Business Part 1 — The stalled emergence of the social enterprise”

The meaning of impact

We need to move towards a system that assesses social innovation based on impact.  This assessment holds for not-for-profits, government and businesses that profess to have social goals.  Most people agree with this need and we can hold nice conversations around moving from inputs to impact as measurements.  However few people have given much thoughtContinue reading “The meaning of impact”

Business building should be open ended

In years past the business building process involved putting together a plan with milestones and deadlines.  Often the plan building process took months and was completed before any discussions with potential customers were done.  The entrepreneur stayed tightly within the bounds of the plan forging ahead even when things weren’t working.  If there was outsideContinue reading “Business building should be open ended”

How to look at innovation from a user’s viewpoint

When we are developing ideas for innovation we often identify opportunities in isolated situations.  We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the end user and determine how they might make the decision whether to use our product or not. For example, I worked with a group of entrepreneurs trying to decide how toContinue reading “How to look at innovation from a user’s viewpoint”

When big companies don’t innovate entrepreneurs need to

There are some unusual paradoxes taking place in the world these days.  We see massive unemployment and underemployment coupled with big companies making big profits and build up piles of cash.  But they aren’t using these cash reserves to fund innovation they are sitting on them letting them go idle.  If these companies are aren’tContinue reading “When big companies don’t innovate entrepreneurs need to”

Leadership with a 20 year horizon

We have talked about the need for a 20 year horizon to bring about systemic changes that are badly needed.  One of these changes is a building an entrepreneurial society in a region.  What we also need to consider is how, in this world of short attention spans and 144 character messages, that we doContinue reading “Leadership with a 20 year horizon”

Misuse the term disruptive at your peril

The term disruption comes up constantly in the world of innovation but often in the wrong context.  Most people think of it as a big, breakthrough technology that will become the next big thing.  Most of the time it isn’t that at all. It usually starts out as something very unremarkable but has the ability to unseatContinue reading “Misuse the term disruptive at your peril”

Want to avoid being disrupted? Transform your business model.

I have long been a fan of Clay Christensen who wrote Innovator’s Dilemma and advanced the concept of disruption.  He identified situations where new entrants to a market start with a basic product that only appeals to the lower end of the market.  The upstart then continuously improves the product, through interaction with customers, untilContinue reading “Want to avoid being disrupted? Transform your business model.”