Quality of Counsel and Decisions

I have seen number of leaders, especially young entrepreneurs, at close quarters. This gives me a ground-zero view to their decisions. In recent times I have also had the fortune of seeing how some senior leaders make decisions.

Based on the above experiences I have noticed that almost everyone (young or old) seek the counsel of those they have access too. Every one of us has a counsel, a set of wise people (they come in all sizes and shapes) who we reach out to when we require inputs And their inputs have a strong influence on our decisions. So we can safely assume that the quality of our decisions have a strong correlation to the quality of our counsel.

But who forms this counsel? We! So it is up to us to attract the wisest people we can on our counsel. But this is where most of us falter – we appoint people who kind of agree with us or people who always tell us what we want to hear or even worse people who please us all the time. If you suffer from this challenge – don’t bother much about decision making; focus more on changing your counsel.

If you have the courage to keep wise people on your counsel and take their inputs honestly; you may lose a battle or two; but never the war of life.

Think about it!

World Book Day 2017

Happy World Book Day!

While almost every day on the calendar has a reason for celebration – today is special. Because if you do ‘celebrate reading’ on this day, even a little, it can open you to a whole new world. The world will never be the same again!

I love books. I am glad that I got so many of my students (over the past year) to read books. On this day, I wish and pray that they keep this habit going, so that they will be constantly exposed to so many more worlds that exist in this world.

Happy to be a book lover. I will buy one more book today. WiI will also gift one to another.

Celebrate Reading!

National Digital Library of India

I love books. I love to read. I love to teach. And so I am always in search of good materials and sources of new materials.

But when I speak to faculty during my faculty development programs and otherwise, one common complaint is that they do not have access to good resources. They provide a number of reasons – lack of funding, lack of management interest to invest, lack of direction, lack of readership amongst others.

When I came across this new initiative by IIT Kharaghpur with support from MHRD, I was impressed. At least some of these challenges of faculty members will be resolved. Once you register you will have access to a large collection of resources. Hope the two institutions above will do even better and increase the collection, especially in the area of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.

Until then please log in and enjoy a whole range of good quality materials.

Link: https://ndl.iitkgp.ac.in

Books and Me: Disrupt Yourself

Title: Disrupt Yourself – Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work

Author: Whitney Johnsondisrupt-yourself

Most of the book reviews I post here contain the cover image, but today’s image is special. This is because I am reviewing a book I received as a gift from the author for New Year 2017. Hence I post the signed page from the inside of the book instead of the cover!

Thanks Whitney Johnson for sending me this signed personal copy.

I have always found ‘Disruptive Innovation’ an interesting concept. But the phrase remains muddled in colloquial usage. And now that I research in the area of ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ I understand the grave misuse of the term by professionals and novices. This is one of those books which does not distort the meaning.

While many books relating to this topic are written with the firm / organisation in mind, this book is clearly intended for the individual. The principles of ‘Disruptive Innovation’ are powerful and can be applied to one’s individual life. The author uses number of cases as well as anecdotes from her personal life to show us how we can all lead a life full of disruption.

I made a lot of notes and also during the process shared much of this knowledge with my students. In fact reading the book so fascinated me that by the time I completed it, I had almost created two new courses for my students on entrepreneurship – but ones which hopefully, will disrupt the way I teach. I think I will enjoy teaching these new courses as much as I enjoyed reading this book.

The book’s principles are so simple and straight that if I summarise them here, you will feel that you know it all. That is after all the beauty of good writing. The challenge is to put these simple principles to practice. I hope many more will read the book, put its principles to practice, deliberately, and enjoy the fruits of a disruptive life.

Happy Reading!

12th Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship – My Experience

I have been attending the Biennial Conferences on Entrepreneurship hosted by The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) starting from the 10th. This time I also had the privilege to be part of EDII hosting the grand event. The Twelfth Biennial was Chaired by Prof. Sasi Misra (Distinguished Psychologist) and hosted by Prof. Sunil Shukla (Director, EDII).

We had over a 100 researchers present and share their ideas at the conference. This time we also had a lot more time for each paper and a whole lot of discussions in and outside the session rooms. It was fun to see scholars debate their findings with peers from both within and outside of India. The proceedings (a two volume collection of 139 papers) was released on the inauguration by the popular and senior academic Prof. Pradip Khandwalla. He kickstarted the event with a memorable talk on why its time to re-look at entrepreneurship in the emerging country setting, especially India.

The Twelfth Biennial was also special as it hosted the Silver Jubilee Celebration of The Journal of Entrepreneurship (JoE) – a biannual academic journal published by Sage Publications. The event was graced by the two past Directors (Profs Awasthi and Patel) of EDII and the founding Editor (Prof. Dwijendra Tripathi). Each of their reminiscences of how the journal birthed and reached its 25th year was both touching and hilarious.

Mine was the first paper in the first technical session. I got done early and had the pleasure of listening to number of other presenters without worry! I had wonderful discussions outside the session rooms with scholars from India and abroad. Our discussions have also resulted in some exchange of contacts and possible future conversations. The hope is that some of these will result in collaborations in the future.

We had two special sessions – one by the GEM India Team on TEA in an Emerging Economy and the other, the Dr Elmar Stuhler Memorial Lecture delivered by Prof Helmut from Germany. His abstract ideas are always a trigger for deeper thinking.

I enjoyed the conference and now energised to do more work on my research. While attending conferences is to present our papers and gain feedback, it is equally to make new friends and catch up with older ones. I did all three! So overall it was three days well spent.

The next Biennial is two years away – and it will be special in its own way. As Dr Shukla mentioned during the Valedictory session, it will be the silver jubilee for the conferences too! Look forward to being there and enjoying the company of scholars in entrepreneurship.

Till then Happy Entrepreneuring!

Creative and/or Innovative

I was recently invited to attend a seminar on Intellectual Property Rights. It was illuminating to hear the views of so many people especially on the core aspects of intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trade marks, geographic indicators, and others).

But there seemed to be a fundamental aspect that remained muddled in many of the presentations – the difference between ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’. It seemed to me that many speakers used the term interchangeably. Being a student of entrepreneurship it hit me hard – since the difference between the two terms makes pretty much all the difference between being an artist and an entrepreneur.

Creative – is an adjective to describe one who can come up with original and imaginative ideas to create something

AND

Innovative – is an adjective used to describe one who introduces new ideas, original and useful

The above is important to understand (easier said than done). But if one wants to understand why there is a strong argument for action in entrepreneurship – the above difference in meaning becomes critical. It is by being innovative that one turns ideas into reality. Hence entrepreneurs need to be innovative.

But – Innovative does not subsume Creative!

Many entrepreneurs (innovative) build on the ideas of others (creative) and in some cases successfully institutionalise them. We remember them for a long time through their products / services / organizations.

If you are one who teaches entrepreneurship, it is important to clearly highlight the difference between the two; help aspiring entrepreneurs appreciate the importance of the latter; and teach them the skills to identify the former. This is not the only thing that makes one an entrepreneur, but definitely eases the pressure on them to be creative at any cost.

Think about it!

Books and Me: Trailblazing in Entrepreneurship

Title: Trailblazing in Entrepreneurship – Creating new paths for understanding the field

Authors: Dean A Shepherd and Holger Patzelttrailblazing-book-cover

This is not a review of the book. I am sharing this book for a number of reasons:

  • I got it from one of the co-authors (Prof. Dean Shepherd) who and whose work I admire a lot
  • It is a great resource on where entrepreneurship scholars can look at for the future of entrepreneurship research
  • It is a great resource on literature in entrepreneurship research from two highly respected scholars
  • The authors have been generous to make it freely available so that a lot many scholars who cannot access expensive resources can gain access to good material
  • It is an ‘open access’ book and freely available. Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8gg18ojh-w_SzZWcHc2Y0JZQWM
  • More than everything else I feel it is only fair that young scholars must read the right literature in entrepreneurship and identify promising areas of research for themselves

I have already started reading it and I have shared it with a few colleagues who have good words for the book. Hence I am sharing it with the blog’s readers so that all of you will have the opportunity to trailblaze through the wilds of entrepreneurship research.

Good Luck and Happy Reading!