The Exogenic Factors for Entrepreneurs :: Creating Sustainable Socio-Economic Growth Applying Accessible Technologies

Published in SmartBlog on Leadership, November 2011

Leading this pact is the key mandate for us — the entrepreneurs today. And it has never been more important — no matter what business we are in!

 

At no time in history has civilization been in such a state of foment. To no one’s surprise, the economic principles set forth by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations 235 years ago no longer work. Nation-states are going bankrupt. Governments and political parties seem incapable of performing their appointed work for their peoples. Despots and regimes are being overthrown right and left. Social behavior, the very basis for human interaction, is itself undergoing massive change.

The unemployed seek jobs that no longer, and may never again, exist. Businesses find themselves in tooth-and-nail struggles to survive. Nations vie with one another for solvency from one bubble to the next. Meanwhile, technology advances at an unprecedented pace, dynamically changing energy, medicine, the military, transportation, and other sectors, making it difficult to stay abreast of its powers.

Globalization and the transformative power of access to enabling technologies has made the prevailing cause-and-effect narrowness of traditional economic theory outdated, and more enlightened views must be applied to solve the complex issues we globally face today.  For example:

  • 26-year-old author Amanda Hocking, rejected by a multitude of publishers, self-published her novels and promoted them using Facebook, Twitter and blogs. After two years of diligent self-promotion from her living room in Minnesota, she earned $2 million. In January, 2011, alone, she sold $417,152 worth of e-books just from the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.
  • Photovoltaic power cells were invented in the U.S., but China is now the world’s largest producer, manufacturing over 23 percent of the world’s supply. China is setting a green, sustainable-energy example for the world in planning to increase its use of solar power fivefold, to 20 gigawatts, by the year 2020. China’s transformative policy of supporting green power grows ever stronger.
  • Third-world nations’ growth and development in the 20th century were once measured in decades. Now, with the deployment of digital technologies, they are able to transform themselves in just months or years into productive members of the international commercial society.

Today’s entrepreneurs need to question and rethink each thing we do and every institution — social, governmental, business, education, healthcare — leaving no stone unturned, and asking Why? What’s working and what isn’t? Why? For example, why do we use GDP as a measure of the nation’s productivity? Why determine the strength of the economy solely on what consumers buy? What’s the transformative power of innovation and creativity? How do we create sustainable progress?

 

The Exogenic Factors

The term transformation originated with biology and genetics. In short, biological transformation refers to the introduction of something exogenic that can change the essential nature of a cell. Its purpose is to invoke change. The transformative process is nearly identical for every organization today: introduce a new goal, add the variable (exogenic factor), and transform it into creativity and innovation.

Transformation is driven by an acknowledged need to grow and change, followed by thinking differently about the old ways and means.

It is one of the steps to creating a transformative and sustainable organization. It can be modeled, documented and implemented as a total game-changing process. At a high-level, the steps can be defined as:

  • Human nature is driven by wants and/or needs
  • We develop strategies to evolve tactics to turn those wants and needs into goals
  • With tactics in place, we can formulate a plan, or call to action to achieve the goals
  • The plan, or call to action, involves setting personal or business objectives and determining the most appropriate technologies with which to implement them
  • When the business objectives are combined successfully with the appropriate technologies, the result is convergence, the seamless merging of both to attain goals
  • Convergence makes it possible to create a viable economic model applying enabling technologies, essential in the process of satisfying the wants or needs
  • Transformation occurs when the individual or enterprise has successfully embarked upon on the new course to achieve its goals

Those completing this process are now positioned not just to survive, but to progress and thrive. The process is repeatable — in fact it loops — continually transforming actions through the use of powerful enabling technologies into creative, innovative, and sustainable goals and outcomes.

It is clear that new enabling technologies demand new economic models and ways of thinking about problem-solving.  And it is one of the key drivers for today’s entrepreneurship — the exogenic factors.

 

Change, Innovation, Sustainability and Progress

  • Change is the key factor in achieving personal and/or organizational goals. Without change there can be no progress.
  • Innovation is the vital ingredient in the individual or institution’s ability to make effective and practical use of change. It is the great what if factor in decision-making and the entity’s raison d’etre to move forward and stay abreast of the turbulent and constantly changing times.
  • Sustainability is the manifestation of health and growth, but also diversity: indeed, it is made up in large part of change and innovation.

This trinity of objectives for a fulfilling life and meaningful economic, institutional and social progress represent the most sought-after attributes of individuals and organizations. They rest upon the foundation of converged objectives and the inherent transformation from the outdated to the new and more productive ways.

 

Today’s Entrepreneurs’ Mandate

A long time ago, management guru Peter Drucker said:

“Indeed the modern organization (beginning with the Jesuit Order in 1536) was expressly created to have results on the outside, that is, to make a difference in its society or its economy.”

The implicit — and explicit — expectation is that institutions should “do good” for others: The ultimate objective is to produce a wellspring of new ideas, profound change, dynamic innovation, and sustainable opportunities.

Leading this pact is the key mandate for us — the entrepreneurs today.  And it has never been more important — no matter what business we are in!

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