The more I read about what Babson College is doing the more impressed I am. The most basic definition of entrepreneurial action is the ability to review a current process and see how it could function at a higher level. This is the entrepreneurial mind. According to Greenberg “Entrepreneurial Leadership involves a new model of thought and action.” I got it! I also see the power of the entrepreneurial mental model to “create and build a better world.”
I am actually very excited about the ubiquitous nature of entrepreneurism. As I stated yesterday in my blog, I have grown tired of uncreative processes that have no ability to improve how something is done. I am tired of the constant negative rehashing of events to find the evil intentions behind something that was done several years ago. However, I am excited about the ability “to create the future through action and experimentation.”
When this negativity is focused on capitalism, which I think is a result of business’ own shortsightedness focused on economic value maximization, business educators and practitioners need to listen. And as Michael Porter has stated, “The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history. This diminished trust in business leads political leaders to set policies that undermine competitiveness and sap economic growth. Business is caught in a vicious circle.”
This is why the entrepreneurial mind is so critical. This is a mind that “engages social, environmental, and economic value creation simultaneously rather than sequentially.” It is my job as an educator to help my students see the importance of focusing on the people, planet and profit at the same time while creating business models that successfully create value in all of these areas.
Greenberg lays out a strategy that I think is sound. First, “teach students how to use creativity, experimentation, and action to harvest opportunities.” Got it, I can do that! Second, help students see that value is more than economic. Value creation is both social and economic. Profit maximization is not the primary goal of business. The primary goal of business is mission. As such, the mission needs to reflect the triple bottom line that we have been discussing as part of the entrepreneurial mind. I can do that too, and I think the WPC Social Entrepreneurship program is accomplishing this.
John Friese, entrepreneur and leader of StarveUps, met with our five capstone students. He was so encouraging, and recognized That the level of passion associated with our students was unsurpassed by other entrepreneurial students in the states of Washington and Oregon. This passion is a critical part of the entrepreneurial mind. This passion is about creating something new that deals with something old. This passion, connected with the Millennials will change the world in a positive way. I as an educator need to foster that.
I hope as my frustration level continues to rise due to shortsighted people who don’t see the need to change, I don’t do stupid things that hurt this opportunity to help students develop an entrepreneurial mind. Social Entrepreneurism is, at least in my opinion, the most exciting business event in 50 years, and I want to continue to foster that new way of thinking.
And that is my thought for the day!