Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Five Ways Discomfort Could Lead to Your Next Breakthrough

Five Ways Discomfort Could Lead to Your Next Breakthrough

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

The disclaimer on investments is that “past performance is not an indicator of future results.” In other words, don’t get too comfortable with the past. All you have to do is look at the stock performance through last year (2021) compared to this year’s performance to know this is true.

Yet when it comes to people, the opposite is often true. Past performance is often an indicator of future results. Most people get comfortable and stay where they feel safe. But, what if you were willing to be uncomfortable? What if you were willing to go against the status quo, learn something new, regardless of difficulty, and take more risks? How would you feel living in a state of discomfort?

Sterling Hawkins, author of Hunting Discomfort: How to Get Breakthrough Results in Life and Business No Matter What, shares how successful people thrive on discomfort. These are the people whose past performance won’t always indicate what to expect in the future. They thrive on risk, stepping out of their comfort zones, and are fueled by something new and different.

In the book, Hawkins teaches his five-step process that produces results:

1. Expand Your Reality: Just because you were taught that something should be a certain way doesn’t mean it has to be that way. Some might call this “thinking outside the box.” It’s shattering paradigms and challenging the status quo.

This reminds me of the story that the late, great Zig Ziglar used to tell about a family dinner that included four generations. As the dinner was being prepared, a little girl asked her mom, “Why do you cut off the end of the roast before you cook it?” Mom said, “That’s the way your grandmother taught me to cook the roast.”

The little girl then went to her grandmother and asked, “Grandma, why do you cut the end of the roast off before you cook it?” Grandma said, “That’s the way your great-grandmother taught me to cook the roast.”

The little girl then went over to her great-grandmother and asked, “Great Grandma, why do you cut the end of the roast off before you cook it?” Great Grandma said, “A long time ago, the ovens weren’t as big as they are today. We had to cut the end off for the roast to fit into the oven.”

Just because we’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean we should keep doing it that way. Expanding your reality is just looking beyond the usual and ordinary.

2. Get a Tattoo: Hawkins believes you should commit so deeply to something that you’re willing to have it tattooed onto your body. You may disagree, but you do get the point. This is about commitment. The tattoo is a metaphor. You don’t really need to permanently put your feelings on your body, but consider this …

Scott Ginsberg is known as The Nametag Guy. While in college, he found that more people would talk to him if he wore a nametag. It made him approachable. He wrote a speech and several books about how to be more approachable. He committed to wearing a name tag every day. After five years, he made the ultimate commitment to his idea. He had the name tag tattooed onto his chest. That’s commitment!

3. Build a Street Gang: Surround yourself with people who will not only support you but also hold you accountable for your potential. According to Hawkins, having a trusted accountability partner can increase the likelihood of your success by up to 95%!

4. Flip It: The book covers a process for not just overcoming problems or obstacles, but instead using them to your advantage. To Flip It isn’t about seeing the reverse. It’s more about seeing the problem or challenge from a different perspective, starting with a complete understanding of the problem, obstacle, challenge or goal.

Hawkins quotes inventor Charles Kettering who once said, “A problem well stated is a problem half-solved.” Before you can solve a problem, you must first understand it. Clarity is paramount. You must be sure that the problem is not confused with the symptom. The problem becomes a challenge, and you must be clear about what impact solving that problem will mean to you or your organization. Most often, there is a larger purpose to the challenge. What’s the true end goal? For example, you may want to run a 10K race, but the larger vision is to be in good enough shape to run it.

5. Surrender: This isn’t about giving up. Instead, it’s about acceptance. Embrace inevitability and unpredictability. Be flexible and pivot when necessary. Sometimes you’ll find a breakthrough in the middle of the darkest problems. During the pandemic of the past two years, when faced with huge obstacles, some companies and brands not only survived but also found ways to thrive. The same is true for people.

We are in a world where change is happening at a faster pace than ever. We are faced with opportunities that are often disguised as problems and challenges. Hunting for the discomfort in your life and seizing it as the chance to have a breakthrough is what successful people do.

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image Credit: Shep Hyken

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Six Simple Growth Hacks for Startups

Six Simple Growth Hacks for Startups

GUEST POST from Soren Kaplan

Building a new business is tough. These strategies will help your startup succeed without a big investment.

As many of my readers know, I usually write about strategy, innovation, and leadership. But recently I’ve been asked a lot about how I helped establish Praxie.com as a destination website for hundreds of best practice digital tools and templates using growth hacking strategies. That’s because it’s incredibly hard to cut through the noise and establish a new brand, website presence, and business model in today’s increasingly cluttered competitive world.

So, here’s what we did to build a brand and drive tens of thousands of visitors to our website each month, all without any significant marketing investment. Anyone who’s focused, methodical, and willing take the time can do it.

1. Create Expert Content

Content is king. You can create it yourself or provide a platform that encourages users to contribute content as part of your business model. Content drives the brand and engages customers. Plus, Google and other search engines index and prioritize pages with solid content, so your specific webpages with noteworthy content will get a boost in SEO rankings and see increased traffic over time. Content comes in many forms: articles, blog posts, listicles, white papers, templates, and videos.

2. Syndicate Content to Grow Backlinks

Backlinks are the lifeblood of SEO. The more that reputable websites link back to your website (or sub-pages on your site), the higher you’ll rank will be in search engines. And the higher your rank, the more organic visitors you’ll receive. Whatever you’re doing or providing as part of your business, position yourself as the expert. Become a source of knowledge and insight for the press, get interviewed on podcasts, write articles for other sites, or do anything else that gets your name (and backlink) out there on the net. This strategy also builds your brand.

3. Become a Video Star

Content isn’t just about the written word. YouTube is now the number-two search engine in the world, right behind Google. Video content highlights your expertise. It gets shared. And it drives traffic to your website that can convert to newsletter signups, subscriptions, and product purchases. Be sure to include keywords in the titles and descriptions of your videos. Also include a plug at the end of the video for where the viewer can learn more (e.g., your website). Re-purpose your videos on social media and embed videos into your website to further reinforce your content expertise.

4. Build Email Relationships

While just about every email inbox is cluttered with spam these days, when someone gives you their email address, they’re essentially giving you permission (opting in) to connect with them. While the same principle applies to social media, email is still a unique, higher-touch, form of connection-making. As compared with social media, email is like pinning a flyer up on someone’s front door versus hoping they see one that has been posted on the corner telephone pole as they walk by. So, create easy ways for people to sign up for newsletters. Connect with others on LinkedIn, where most profiles include email addresses. Focus on building a list and providing high-value communications that use expert content to connect with your audience versus just trying to sell them your product. Many free or inexpensive tools can get you started like Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

5. Measure Everything Using Dashboards

The only way to gauge progress is to measure it. Use Google Analytics to track your most important metrics, like the number of visitors, landing pages, conversion rates for your newsletter and purchases, and more. Use free tools like those provided by Moz and Similarweb to benchmark yourself against the competition. Connect social media metrics and advertising into a dashboard that provides a holistic picture of the business. But don’t spend too much time cobbling together data. Keep it simple so you can get a quick read on how you’re doing while spending most of your time doing the things that grow your business.

6. Test, Retest, and Test Again

Google recently introduced a great tool called Optimize. Optimize allows you to quickly run tests on your website or individual web pages. By creating A/B tests that serve up different page headings, product prices, button colors, etc., you can gain insight into what works and what doesn’t based on what you’re trying to achieve. Track which market positioning statements result in the most newsletter signups or which price model delivers the greatest revenue. Running tests should be an ongoing activity which essentially means you’re taking the winning formula from your A/B test and then running another A/B test using that as the baseline. Connect your tests to your data analytics to track what works (and doesn’t) over time.

Most small startups don’t have big funding. That’s why growth hacks are so important. Use a little elbow grease, coupled with savvy customer engagement strategies, to build the basis for market traction. You might need to give it a little time to yield results, but that’s also what’s needed to create an enduring business.

Image Credit: Getty Images (acquired by Soren Kaplan)

This article was originally published on Inc.com and has been syndicated for this blog.

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Driving the Next Era of Growth: Leveraging Data to Innovate

Driving the Next Era of Growth: Leveraging Data to Innovate

GUEST POST from Teresa Spangler

“50% of US executives and 39% of European executives said budget constraints were the primary hurdle in turning Big Data into a profitable business asset. Rounding out the top 5 challenges were data security concerns, integration challenges, lack of technical expertise, and proliferation of data silos.” (Capgemini)

“The biggest challenges companies face when implementing Big Data are budget constraints” (Capgemini)

Data analytics is continuously evolving as AI and machine learning applications get faster and smarter. The benefits that may be gained by analyzing massive data sets identifying in seconds patterns, signals, and relationships between nonaligned and aligned areas is intoxicating for savvy companies seeking to innovate. We recognize that companies can make faster and better decisions with strong analytic teams interpreting the findings. Look at what information-driven analytics has done already in cool improvements around us. There are so many good examples of this. Take transportation systems, the use of information analytics to course vehicles round congested areas in actual time is one simple example. Another, that literally may have saved the restaurant industry during the pandemic, is meals delivery services which depend on data collected to forecast demand on menu items, key order times, navigation around cities and streets not to mentioned detailed knowledge individual’s meal preferences. Data helped to optimize driving routes for more efficient delivers.

As data analytics becomes more sophisticated, we might anticipate revolutionary disruptions. However, economists report spending greater funds per capita on research, yet there is a significant decline in rate of successful innovation output. One motive for this could be that we are mistakenly focusing an excessive amount of on R&D instead of on innovation output which takes exceptional justification, funding, and resources. What does data analytics have to do with innovation? Everything! Research is crucial but just one part of a puzzle for developing new products and services. Today, innovation requires a sophistication in data analytics interpretation. There’s also a need for the curiosity, for human evaluation and a bit of intuition and intelligence. Companies need an astute cleverness like no other time in history and an ingenious approach to taking research and turning it into something new and worthwhile.  The process must be diligent, but it must also be agile. Too frequently, organizations get bogged down within the details of research and improvement, without truly questioning outside the boundaries of a container process. As a result, we have delays in the process often stalling out for lack of resource allocations. Even worse, companies not focusing on deep understanding of their data may misinterpret the analytics leaving more to chance that to solid pathways.

It’s worth saying, placing a greater emphasis on creativity and innovation is imperative vs. traditional research and improvement methods. As is deeply dissecting the data in your business. Where does all that data live? What are the hidden signals of the data, what types of converging uses (products/solutions) could you turn that data into?

We are in an era of new growth. Poll your customers! They are changing rapidly and challenged with keeping up with the speed of change but know they must. Where are they doubling down their efforts? How well do they understand their own data? What products and services are they developing, who are they collaborating with and a better question, why are you collaborating with them to innovate around their future needs? Are they investing in developing a more tech and analytic savvy organization? Better question, is your company?

As cliché as it is data is the new oil. Data will be producing its own data (it’s happening today) known as synthetic data. According to Gartner, “By 2025, synthetic data will reduce personal customer data collection, avoiding 70% of privacy violation sanctions.” This begs to question the emphasis companies are placing on developing the skills sets of the organization around analytics and data. And simply put, as oil has an expansive array of products and uses, we’re now in an era of inventing new energy sources to reduce even eliminate dependencies on oil. How might data fit into the effort to transform these dependencies? Data is essential for electric and autonomous vehicle development. Innovative companies are undertaking long tail efforts to drive the next generation of IoE (Internet of everything). Data is the fuel. Let’s explore four ways that organizations can use records analytics to power innovation and stay ahead of the competition.

  1. Design new products that think for themselves: understanding data from a variety of sources may trigger new types of needs and possible new products that could be developed. For example: understanding water needs for new smart and innovative cities being designed takes enormous planning. A partner to Plazabridge Group, designs digital twin environments for the water sector. Cites like Singapore, Houston, Dubai, must anticipate the growing needs for water and plan design and building based on anticipated needs but also, they must plan for worst- and best-case scenarios. They must plan for leakage, or contamination or other possible scenarios that may impact water supplies. Digital twinning these environments is the most cost-effective way to simulate new innovative methods. Leveraging as much data as possible as well as generating newly created synthetic data cities can plan more economically, they can execute faster and prepare for events that may occur. Understanding these models around water, suppliers may produce products that help cities build these digital environments. Not just for water systems but for any part of businesses today; manufacturing, facilities management, construction…
  2. Not all innovation has to be moonshot inventions. Simply identify unmet wishes of customers, consumers or the market creating engaging products and services. UBER goes from just carting us around leveraging an incredible inventive back in logistics infrastructure to launch UBER eats! Why not, the drivers are already out and about, the data collected indicates the most popular spots riders go to for coffee, lunch, dinner, drinks… UBER analysts have vast information on customer interests in turn turned from few riders during a pandemic to delivering food as an essential business during the pandemic. A pivot turns into a scalable source of augmented revenue as the shelter lifts and people get back to riding.
  3. So much opportunity exists to improve customer engagement: records analytics can assist businesses to better understand their clients and their wishes. This expertise can then be used to improve customer service and support future-proofing your business.
  4. Extend efficiency: data crunching algorithms, digital twinning, AR/VR simulations and access to remote experts will help corporations to streamline their operations, digitally transforming themselves for greater efficiency. This increased efficiency can lead to price savings, which can be reinvested in innovation.“90% of CEOs believe the digital economy will impact their industry, but less than 15% are executing on a digital strategy.”

— MIT Sloan and Capgemini. Seek out experts and industry mentors to help your organization make these shifts. We often fear what we cannot see, the beautiful thing about the digital world is you can build a virtual environment visualizing the unseen, and plan for all types of scenarios. A model we developed (not dependent on virtual or digital anything in fact) at Plazabridge Group is around the CIA’s The Phoenix Checklist. Strategies for Regenerating is our formula for going deep into understanding problems, future opportunities, needs, anticipating deeply the “What ifs” of every possible scenario.  When done leveraging data and analytics the possibilities become endless.

Original Article

Image credits: Pixabay

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Land Mines of Intrapreneurship

Land Mines of Intrapreneurship

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity under VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) conditions with the goal of creating user/stakeholder defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model.

Intrapreneurs are employees trying to act like entrepreneurs within their organizations or non-profits. Here is the textbook of physician intrapreneurship.

Here is how to get your ideas noticed:

If you are trying to develop and deploy an AI solution in your sickcare organization, have you answered these questions?

Here are some reasons why your initiative will fail.

Do you have a VAST edupreneur business model?

Studies show that around 60 to 80% of new products fail. The same is probably true for programs and new educational offerings. It is difficult to determine the exact number of unreported cases, because who would like to talk about his innovation flops? The odds are against you.

So, what are the landmines to detect and avoid?

  1. You did not do your homework because you where unwilling, unable to do so ,or ,you do not have an entrepreneurial mindset and think because you already have 2 people who said they were interested that you could forge ahead.
  2. You did not have an exit strategy.
  3. You did not read the field manual.
  4. You don’t have the right sponsor with staying power.
  5. You tried to bite off more than your stakeholders are willing or able to chew.
  6. You are a bad rebel and chalk it up to “being authentic.”
  7. You do not have the right clinical champions on board.
  8. You have empty seats on the bus or the wrong people sitting in them.
  9. You are making these rookie intrapreneur mindset mistakes.
  10. You are not addressing the dysfunction of teams.
  11. You are not aligned with your organization’s strategy or vision.
  12. You are working in the wrong place with a toxic or fixed culture or for the wrong person.
  13. You don’t have an innovation strategy
  14. You don’t get sales and marketing
  15. You didn’t ask and answer these four questions before you started
  16.  If you’ve got a major change on the horizon, here’s how to avoid three of the most common saboteurs of company transformation. First, understand that significant change will be harder than you think it will be to achieve. Next, be realistic about your organization’s capacity to implement changes. Finally, make sure your organization understands how and why the transformation is important to you.
  17. You have not learned how to win at Survivor  1) Don’t expect friendship. Invest in relationships outside your company to meet your emotional needs; 2) Manage sideways. Your reputation with your peers becomes an important factor as you’re being considered for senior ranks; and 3) Hone your political skills.

If you get too far ahead of your troops, it is hard to tell the difference between you and the enemy. De-risk yourself. Be careful out there.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Should you be a physician entrepreneur?

Should you be a physician entrepreneur?

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Not every doctor is cut out to be a physician entrepreneur. Are you?

It seems to me there is confusion about physician entrepreneurship, its definition and whether it represents a threat to professionalism. I’m not alone. Is a physician entrepreneur someone who starts and runs a business, or is it something more?

Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity under variable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions. The goal of all entrepreneurs, including physician entrepreneurs, is to create user defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model to accomplish, in the case of medical professionals, the quintuple aim or, if applicable, shareholder value.

Here are three things to know about physician entrepreneurship.

Because of the many changes in the art and practice of medicine, many doctors have decided to get involved in non-clinical side gigs or, in some instances, leave medicine entirely. Here is a guide to non-clinical careers.

Doctors are practicing the art of entrepreneurship for many reasons:

  1. It helps patients
  2. It’s fun and challenging
  3. It gives them the ability to exercise creativity
  4. It creates alignment and engagement with organization
  5. The profit motive
  6. It creates meaning
  7. It satisfies psychic needs
  8. It provides another sources of external vaidation
  9. It’s a way to get outside of your comfort zone
  10. It allows you to take more risk
  11. The sick care business model is broken and they want to be part of the big fix after feeling ignored and disempowered
  12. They have to to surthrive

Whether you are a pre-med, a medical student, a resident, a fellow or a practicing clinician thinking about beginning the entrepreneurial journey, you should take some time to identify your persona.

You career strategy starts with answering:

  1. Where are you now?
  2. Where do you want to go?
  3. How do you want to get there?

Begin by matching yourself with one of the four core entrepreneurial personas as defined by their willingness and ability to practice entrepreneurship successfully.

The Convinced and Confident know entrepreneurship should be part of their career pathway. In fact, many of them have had entrepreneurial life experiences prior to medical school.

The Curious but Clueless don’t know what they don’t know but are willing to learn more. Many have never held a job in their life. Some might be willing, but unable to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. . Others discover their innerpreneur, and move on.

The I Couldn’t Care Less are unwilling and unable to give it a try. Their attitude is , “I went to medical school to take care of patients, not take care of business”. What they don’t realize is that if you don’t take care of business, you have no business taking care of patients.

The Conflicted have yet to discover their “innerpreneur”, but are conflicted about whether to step outside of their comfort zones and cut the chord.

Your persona will help lead you to the next steps:

  1. The Convinced and Confident: Continue to improve your knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies and learn from your experience.
  2. The Curious but Clueless: Start with education, building your networks and finding mentors
  3. The I Couldn’t Care Less: Pass on entrepreneurship until or unless you change your mind. Here are the many reasons why you should not be a physician entrepreneur.
  4. The Conflicted: Start with the 6Rs of physician career transitioning, beginning with reflection.

Where you are in the thought process will depend on who you are.

Moving from unawareness to awareness to intention to decision to action might show you someone in the mirror you would have never recognized in the past. Or, you might be looking at the same old person.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Challenges of Artificial Intelligence Adoption, Dissemination and Implementation

Challenges of Artificial Intelligence Adoption, Dissemination and Implementation

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Dissemination and Implementation Science (DIS) is a growing research field that seeks to inform how evidence-based interventions can be successfully adopted, implemented, and maintained in health care delivery and community settings.

Here is what you should know about dissemination and implementation.

Sickcare artificial intelligence products and services have a unique set of barriers to dissemination and implementation.

Every sickcare AI entrepreneur will eventually be faced with the task of finding customers willing and able to buy and integrate the product into their facility. But, every potential customer or segment is not the same.

There are differences in:

  1. The governance structure
  2. The process for vetting and choosing a particular vendor or solution
  3. The makeup of the buying group and decision makers
  4. The process customers use to disseminate and implement the solution
  5. Whether or not they are willing to work with vendors on pilots
  6. The terms and conditions of contracts
  7. The business model of the organization when it comes to working with early-stage companies
  8. How stakeholders are educated and trained
  9. When and how which end users and stakeholders have input in the decision
  10. The length of the sales cycle
  11. The complexity of the decision-making process
  12. Whether the product is a point solution or platform
  13. Whether the product can be used throughout all parts of just a few of the sickcare delivery network
  14. A transactional approach v a partnership and future development one
  15. The service after the sale arrangement

Here is what Sales Navigator won’t tell you.

Here is why ColdLinking does not work.

When it comes to AI product marketing and sales, when you have seen one successful integration, you have seen one process to make it happen and the success of the dissemination and implentation that creates the promised results will vary from one place to the next.

Do your homework. One size does not fit all.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What will it take to create a national medical records system?

What will it take to create a national medical records system?

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Almost every person that has experienced the US sickcare system has been frustrated by the lack of data interoperability. We are all paying the costs, now pegged at $4.1T. About $1T of the tab is waste.

Here is the case for data interoperability.

Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, is the latest person who says he wants his company to fix that.

Like those that preceded him, he will face:

  1. Stakeholders that don’t play nice with each other
  2. An enormous cost
  3. Trying to create a VAST business model
  4. Inconsistent technical standards
  5. Competition
  6. The lack of a national patient unique identifier system
  7. Privacy and confidentiality issues
  8. A highly regulated system for patients sharing their data
  9. End user resistance to dissemination and implementation
  10. Cybersecurity
  11. Connecting the kaleidoscope of the disparate elements of the US sickcare system of systems, like the VA, safety net hospitals, rural hospitals, academic centers and DOD facilities
  12. Combining financial data with clinical data
  13. Combining research data with clinical care data
  14. Varying levels of data maturity in the system
  15. Accessing data that is created outside of traditional medical service facilities
  16. The growth of retail sickcare and sicktech companies
  17. Harnessing data from the internet of medical things
  18. Integrating artificial intelligence to not only achieve the quintuple aim, but also create shareholder value that will conflict with one another
  19. Winning the “cloud wars”
  20. The lack of trust and growing sickcare technoskepticism
  21. The Cerner VA implentation FUBAR halo effects.
  22. Changing the EMR “SHIT” -single most hated information technology- to a whole product solution
  23. Accessing unstructured data on social media sites
  24. Governance of the enterprise
  25. Regulatory oversight of software as a medical device and digital therapeutics
  26. Low levels of sickcare professional and patient data literacy
  27. Barriers to international data sharing in a era of pandemics and required rapid response
  28. Fax facts
  29. Push back from patients who want to be paid for their data
  30. Decentralized clinical trial data issues
  31. DEI
  32. Leaderpreneurship skills
  33. UI/UX Will he eliminate passwords?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Sickcare USA, Inc. could provide you with the same experience as your bank ATM system?

Is Larry really the smartest person or just in the wrong room?

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Changing Your Innovator’s DNA

Changing Your Innovator's DNA

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

In their book, The Innovator’s DNA, the authors identified 5 parts to the secret sauce of innovative business success:

In thinking about how these skills work together, they found it useful to apply the metaphor of DNA. Associating is like the backbone structure of DNA’s double helix; four patterns of action (questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking) wind around this backbone, helping to cultivate new insights. And just as each person’s physical DNA is unique, each individual we studied had a unique innovator’s DNA for generating breakthrough business ideas.

Associating is about pattern recognition, connecting dots and seeing what others don’t see.

 These business school professors describe the creative mindset that they believe executives must embrace.

So, A stands for Attention, which is about noticing problems or opportunities that you and others previously missed by changing where and how you look.

L is for Levitation, which means stepping back to gain perspective and make sense of what you’ve seen to reflect on what you need to do differently.

I stands for Imagination, which involves connecting the dots in new and interesting ways to create original and useful ideas. Learn something new every day.

E is about Experimentation, which is about testing your promising idea and turning it into a workable solution that addresses a real need. Here is the value to experimentation in innovation.

Finally, N stands for Navigation, which is about finding ways to get your solution accepted without getting shot down in the process.

Here is another take on the theme

Innovation starts with mindset. Most scientists, engineers and health professionals don’t have it. However, there are ways to develop and change the gene expression by practicing epigenetic exercises. In case you missed that biology class, epigenetics literally means “above” or “on top of” genetics. It refers to external modifications to DNA that turn genes “on” or “off.” These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells “read” genes.

So, if you want to unlock your innerpreneurial genes, try :

  1. Associating, by realizing that sickcare USA cannot be fixed from inside.
  2. Associating by practicing open innovation
  3. Associating by thinking twice about thinking out of the box
  4. Questioning by being a problem seeker, not a problem solver
  5. Questioning why not instead of why and getting to why
  6. Observing by learning to see around corners. Avoid having to say “I didn’t see it coming” :

Look ahead of the curve – Track the trends and pay greater attention to the external environment. Beef up your information diet and endeavor to “get informed” rather than passively “be informed.”

Think ahead of the curve – Take the time to connect the dots, look for patterns of change, and emerging opportunities. Ask: where will this trend, technology or Driving Force of Change be in 10 years and what might I need to do in response?

Act ahead of the curve – Don’t wait for a trend to overwhelm you, take responsive action today. Disrupt yourself. “We must be willing to learn, unlearn and relearn to get ahead in this fast-paced digital world,” notes Jeff Thomson, president and CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants.

Here are 10 strategic trends that will drive data management. Did you see them coming?

  1. Observing by looking for the clues, not the roadmap
  2. Experimenting by using the business model canvas instead of writing a business plan
  3. Experimenting by applying your clinical or scientific mindset
  4. Networking by building robust internal and external networks
  5. Networking the right way when coldLinking
  6. Networking by learning how to meet up at a Meetup
  7. Networking by growing and engaging your alumni network

David Epstein explains in his book. Range, that specializing and practicing repeatedly works in environments that are “kind”. Tiger Woods excelled because he started young and engaged in a task and tried to do better. There were clearly defined rules and immediate outcomes that provided feedback. Doctors are also in this category and the educational establishment picks medical students who demonstrate narrow and deep thinking.

On the other hand, in “wicked” learning environments and domains, like entrepreneurship, the rules of the game are often unclear and incomplete, i.e. there are VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) conditions, there may or may not be repetitive patterns and they may not be obvious, and feedback i often delayed, inaccurate or both. Sometimes, you have to make up the rules as you go along and they are not necessarily transferable from one industry to the next because of the differences in industry ecosystems and cultures, like sickcare. That’s another reason why the clinical mindset is different than the entrepreneurial mindset and why it is so hard to find doctors with both.

Here are some more ways to sharpen your entrepreneurial skills.

Doctors have the potential to make great entrepreneurs because they have the DNA. No, they are not lousy business people. Downstream gene expression, though, is often a problem.

Image Credits: Pixabay, Design Council

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What is Killing Capitalism in America?

What is Killing Capitalism in America?

GUEST POST from Greg Satell

There’s no doubt that capitalism in America is in bad shape. Higher market share concentration in industry is leading to higher profits for corporate giants, but also to higher prices and lower wages along with decreased innovation and productivity growth as well as a long-term decline in entrepreneurship.

You would think that the rise of progressive politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be responsible for the decline in the power of capitalism and the demise of free markets. However, a new book by NYU finance professor Thomas Philippon, titled The Great Reversal, argues exactly the opposite.

In fact, he shows through meticulous research how capitalists themselves are killing capitalism. Through the charade of “pro-business” policies, industry leaders have been increasing regulation and limiting competition over the past 20 years. We need to right the ship and return to an embrace of free markets, entrepreneurship and innovation.

A Rise in Rent Seeking and Regulatory Capture

The goal of every business is to defy markets. Any firm at the mercy of supply and demand will find itself unable to make an economic profit—that is profit over and above its cost of capital. In other words, unless a firm can beat Adam’s Smith’s invisible hand, investors would essentially be better off putting their money in the bank.

That leaves entrepreneurs and managers with two viable strategies. The first is innovation. Firms can create new and better products that produce new value. The second, rent seeking, is associated with activities like lobbying and regulatory capture, which seeks to earn a profit without creating added value. In fact, rent seeking often makes industries less competitive.

There is abundant evidence that over the last 20 years, American firms have shifted from an innovation mindset to one that focuses more on rent seeking. First and foremost, has been the marked increase in lobbying expenditures, which since 1998 have more than doubled. Firms invest money for a reason, they expect a return.

It seems like they are getting their money’s worth. Corporate tax rates in the US have steadily decreased and are now among the lowest in the developed world. Occupational licensing, often the result of lobbying by trade associations, has increased fivefold since the 1950s. Innovative firms such as Tesla face legislation that seeks to protect incumbent businesses. These restrictions have coincided with a decrease in the establishment of new firms.

Perhaps most importantly, the increasingly lax regulatory environment has resulted in a boom in mergers and acquisitions, which led to increased market power among fewer firms and increased barriers to entry for new market entrants.

The Decline of Competitive Markets

To understand how markets have died in the US, you only have to look at the airline industry. After years of mergers just four airlines control roughly two thirds of the market. Yet even that understates the problem. On individual routes, there are often only one or two competitors. We’ve all experienced the results: increasingly higher prices and worse service.

Airlines are far from an isolated case. Consider the cable industry, where consolidation has resulted in broadband prices that are almost 50% higher than in Europe. For mobile phone service, Americans are being charged more than twice what our European friends are. Across a wide swath of industries, increasing concentration is leading to lower competition.

Yet the problem is more than just Americans getting ripped off by corporations who are able to charge us more and give us less. Fat and happy industries tend to underinvest and become less competitive over time, enjoying short-term profits but putting the economic well-being of the country in serious jeopardy.

Again, there is evidence that this is exactly what’s happening. There is abundant data showing that American corporations are underinvesting, even while they have been reporting strong profits to investors.

Entrepreneurial Headwinds

With protected markets and healthy profits, recent decades have been great for incumbent businesses, but not so great for those who want to start new ones. In fact, entrepreneurship in America recently hit a 40-year low and a recent report by the Brookings Institution found that business dynamism in general has been declining since the 80s.

It’s not hard to see why. A recent study found that about half of all college students struggle with food insecurity even as tuition has risen from an average of $15,160 in 1988 to $34,740 in 2018. Not surprisingly, student debt is exploding. It has nearly tripled in the last decade. In fact student debt has become so onerous that it now takes about 20 years to pay off four years for college and even more for those who pursue a graduate degree.

So even the bright young people who don’t starve are often condemned to decades of what is essentially indentured servitude. That’s no way to run an entrepreneurial economy. In fact, a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found that student debt has a measurable negative impact on new business creation.

Another obstacle for entrepreneurs is our healthcare system which represents a huge economic burden. Consider that in the US healthcare expenditures account for roughly 18% of GDP. Most OECD countries spend roughly half that. Anyone who wants to start a business first needs to figure out where their health insurance will come from. Is it any wonder that entrepreneurship is declining in America?

Pro-Business Policies Are Often Anti-Market

The truth is that no business leader wants a free market. In fact, most of our efforts go toward tipping the playing field in our favor. Often, we do that in positive ways, such as building a trusted brand or innovating new products. Yet the incentives, if not the motivations, for rent seeking behavior are exactly the same.

For far too long pro-business lobbies have run rampant over our democracy. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which led to essentially unrestricted political donations, has made a bad situation worse. Members of Congress now spend roughly 30 hours a week “dialing for dollars” rather than tending to the nation’s business.

And we pay the price in higher prices, stagnant wages and worse service. Where we should be investing in the future, creating better infrastructure, schools and a cleaner healthier environment, instead we are spending it on tax breaks for businesses, even though research has shown that these incentives don’t promote economic growth.

It’s time to claim capitalism back for ourselves and promote free markets, entrepreneurship, innovation and public well-being. That’s how you build competitive markets and a healthy society.

— Article courtesy of the Digital Tonto blog
— Image credit: Pexels

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The 3 Student Entrepreneur Personas

The 3 Student Entrepreneur Personas

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Healthcare professional schools, healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship education, and training programs are growing. However, one question is should they be required or elective?

The medical student persona has changed in the past several years. Seeing around corners is always hard. However, to go to where the puck will be is a useful step when planning strategy and tactics to meet the needs of customers segments. Here are some ways to help build your parabolic mirror view of what’s next.

If you have a product or service and are planning not just for the now, but the next and new, then painting a picture of your customer archetype or persona is a key tool.

Do you know who your dream customer is?

There are three steps for understanding your dream customer:

  1. Consider the big issues they are facing – look wider and investigate global issues, such as hunger, environmental sustainability or education.
  2. Identify the industry trends that are affecting them – technology, big data, cyber security, etc.
  3. Describe your customer avatar/archetype/persona now – make a collage including their goals and values, demographics, their pain points and challenges.

Here are the various sickcare innovation and entrepreneurship student segments.

That said, the argument for mandatory is that all students should be exposed to core concepts, like design thinking, much like rotating through core clinical rotations, if nothing else, to get exposure to potential career choices. It might even make them better doctors and possibly help with burnout.

The argument for elective is that all students won’t have the same interests and it would be a waste of time and resources leading the laggards to water knowing you can’t make them drink.

One way to sort potential students is to understand the entrepreneurship education customer segments and their 3 core personas.

The Convinced and Confident know entrepreneurship should be part of their career pathway. In fact, many of them have had entrepreneurial life experiences prior to medical school.

The Curious but Clueless don’t know what they don’t know but are willing to learn more. Many have never held a job in their life. Some might be willing, but unable to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Others discover their innerpreneur, and move on.

The Could Care Less are unwilling and unable to give it a try. Their attitude is , “I went to medical school to take care of patients, not take care of business”. What they don’t realize is that if you don’t take care of business, you have no business taking care of patients.

Here is what I learned teaching sickcare innovation and entrepreneurship to 1st year medical students.

Here is what I learned teaching sickcare innovation and entrepreneurship to a cohort of xMBA/HA students.

If you are part of creating or teaching these programs, you will eventually have to sort the wheat from the chaff. If you are a leaderpreneur, your job will depend on doing so.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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