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Reviving Entrepreneurship

Josh Lerner and William A. Sahlman

New enterprises don't exist in a vacuum: They rise or fall depending on myriad contextual factors, all of them interrelated, and all of them affected by government policy. U.S. lawmakers must carefully consider the effects of interventions in at least 12 areas, ranging from capital markets to tax treatment to intellectual property to health care. Their decisions could shore up--or further weaken--what has long been America's greatest economic asset.

Read the article here.

Tags: Entrepreneurial

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  • 17 Dec 2011

    Jim Shankle

    It is interesting to observe how discussions about energy are principally focused on the supply side and not in reducing demand through energy efficiency. If the money thrown away on projects like Solendra were invested in making buildings more efficient, the result would be dramatic - and without the risk. See the excellent McKinsey&Company study supporting this "demand side" approach- http://www.eia.gov/conference/2010/session9/granade.pdf

    Our system for tightening buildings through patented sealants and equipment is not as sexy as the siren song of green energy but the ROI is a heck of a lot higher and the risk a heck of a lot lower. As to what we as entrepreneurs need - not capital - just high-profile alliance partners who can get us into a few doors to hit some singles and doubles.

  • 29 Feb 2012

    Seol Mae

    Mapping my trace, recording my improvement in business fields, I will make my best efforts posting my own thoughts every day. But today???s topic is tough for me since I am not familiar with this area even though looking into the slides containing the info. about unlocking energy efficiency in the US economy.

    I asked two of my friends for guidance. But it would be great if you could offer me more info about this area. First, I would love to put down the excellent as well as the valuable comment. Second, I want to become the MOST qualified/prospective student of your business school!

    I need your help! Just because I am far away from the excellent!

  • 01 Mar 2012

    Anonymous

    Entrepreneurs should never stick to a single principle or a sentimental approach which they believe would help them succeed, they need to change their strategy every now and then depending on the the economic stability and make a better use of the situation prevailing even if its negative, they need to create their own luck.A true entrepreneur is one who thinks out of box make negatives positive.

  • 17 May 2012

    HARISH RAMAKRISHNAN

       SPORTS IDEALS APPLIED TO THE WORLD OF BUSINESS
    

    When business managers talk strategy, the ultimate goal is being unique from the competition. Winning in the marketplace is the objective whether it is winning. For sports managers, winning is also the goal whether it is being number one or improving on past performances. Effective strategy in business is all about being different and anticipating future events in order to react and respond proactively. In sports, also, strategy is valuable for achieving the competitive edge that comes from doing things differently. Strategic alternatives aim to stretch thinking and to widen the range of options considered. The future can be described in scenario possibilities, which will have different consequences or uncertainties for different competitors. Regardless of business or sports, each team will respond in ways that reflect their goals, assumptions, capabilities, and competencies. Competitive strategy is used to reduce the uncertainty that following one course of action will worse n the teams position another plan. When setting the game plan, it is important for businesses and sports alike to know where competitors fall on the continuum of good to bad. Good competitors understand and play by the rules of competition. Bad competitors may seem to make their own rules, to benefit their game, regardless of others. Some bad competitors will never become good competitors; it will require battles just to move them along the continuum to make them act with a sense of fair play. When a bad competitor appears to be playing outside the rules of the game, it requires continual work to manage a team???s expectations and assumptions. For example, when a team has a player known for violating the rules by getting too excited or by losing control of emotions, then future strategy must factor in the likelihood of repeated infringements and the potential to affect the game outcome. Competition necessitates performance-related activities supporting creativity and innovat ion, promoting a cohesive culture, implementing measurable actions targeted at success. Competition creates the need for strategy. Competition requires strategy. Competitive strategy is the search for a favorable position; it aims to establish a profitable, sustainable

    advantage against others in the game arena. On the sports field/court/ice, five forces are also at work that affects the game or season outcome. For example, at any point in time, the sports manager is concerned about league rivals, key personnel in upper management who pressure for performances that attract spectators, key players that leave the team, the threat of players being sidelined and substitutes with unknown track record taking up positions, and the threat of potential entrants who are the talented young stars eager to take their places with teams willing to risk signing. The unpredictability of sport requires contingency planning or strategy when dealing with competitive pressures. In business, the SWOT analysis is central to developing competitive strategy. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The SWOT template is easily adapted for developing competitive strategy in sports. SWOT positions strength and weakness together for the intern al view of opportunities and threats related to external issues. In this format, resources and capabilities are matched to the competitive environment. Action choices and alternatives develop from the interrelationships identified within the grid. The result is that strategic possibilities become clearer. Assuming that the coach followed the four fundamentals honesty, broad

    Approach, moving beyond the immediate, and questioning others the grid reflects the team???s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The coach wants strategy alternatives that will help the team gain an advantage, on court and off, in the competitive environment. The SWOT grid highlights the team???s resources and capabilities alongside the external issues that can be exploited or must be averted. Numerous combinations can be put together but the starting point is identifying the internal strengths and weaknesses and then systematically covering the opportunities and threats. Taking the strategy principles from business and using them in the sports environment is a logical application. The frameworks used in one are equally relevant to the other. It is the critical thinking behind any strategy development that contributes to effectiveness.
    The business manager who can assess a competitive situation and maximize the team competencies to best advantage will understand the importance of strategy. The sports manager who can develop strategy from in-depth knowledge about player capabilities and maximize the team position in the competitive environment will know the value of the business s-word. In sum, basic strategy tactics are equally relevant to business and sports. The situation analysis will provide insight into the organizations internal resources both tangible and intangible and capabilities. When developing a product or service, such as a new or repositioned sport participation program it is important to determine an organizations capabilities so that a plan can be developed around an organizations ability to deliver. Capabilities should be analyzed against specific criteria to determine those that are core competencies and can be used as the foundation of sustainable competitive advantage. Core competencies will drive the strategic focus of the Business Plan, and assist the organization in determining which concepts/initiatives are most appropriately matched to the organizations key strengths determining the key goals/objectives of the program/initiative these may change later.

    It is also important to define implied strategies of the organization as quite often strategies and their rationale are not clearly understood by those inside and/or outside of the organization. Identify and define targeted segments of the market. Examining the critical issues. Determining how strengths and skills can be directed to address the critical issues. Analyzing opportunities and strengths and looking for ways to synthesize the two exploring and ultimately choosing the best approaches for the organization. Develop a short concept paper at this time, which summarizes Stages 1 and 2 and describes the key concepts/strategies that have been developed and the market segmentation process. This should be circulated to a reference group for feedback. The Implementation Plan guides the organization through the executable stage of the Business Planning process and ensures that plans are translated into results. The Implementation Plan will provide a framework.
    Actionable tasks, timelines, and assignment of responsibilities to the internal project team, and if appropriate, commercial service providers and volunteers who will partner the organization in the delivery of the strategy initiative.

    The organization in determining which concepts initiatives are most appropriately matched to the organizations key strengths determining the key goals objectives of the program initiative these may change later.

    It is also important to define implied strategies of the organization as quite often strategies and their rationale are not clearly understood by those inside and/or outside of the organization. Identify and define targeted segments of the market. Examining the critical issues. Determining how strengths and skills can be directed to address the critical issues. Analyzing opportunities and strengths and looking for ways to synthesize the two exploring and ultimately choosing the best approaches for the organization. Develop a short concept paper at this time, which summarizes stages that describes the key concepts strategies that have been developed and the market segmentation process. This should be circulated to a reference group for feedback. The Implementation Plan guides the organization through the executable stage of the Business Planning process and ensures that plans are translated into results. The Implementation Plan will provide a framework of actionable tasks, ti melines, and assignment of responsibilities to the internal project team, and if appropriate, commercial service providers and volunteers who will partner the organization in the delivery of the strategy/initiative. Sometimes we are not able to change our environment to manage stress this may be the case where we do not have the power to change a situation, or where we are about to give an important performance. Imagery is a useful skill for relaxing in these situations.

    Imagery is a potent method of stress reduction, especially when combined with physical relaxation methods such as deep breathing. You will be aware of how particular environments can be very relaxing, while others cane

    intensely stressful. The principle behind the use of imagery in stress reduction is that you can use your imagination to recreate and enjoy a situation that is very relaxing. The more intensely you imagine the situation, the more relaxing the experience will be. This sounds unlikely. In fact, the effectiveness of imagery can be shown very effectively if you have access to biofeedback equipment. By imagining a pleasant and relaxing scene which reduces stress you can objectively see the measured stress in your body reduce. By imagining an unpleasant and stressful situation, you can see the stress in your body increase. This very real effect can be quite alarming when you see it happen the first time. One common use of imagery in relaxation is to imagine a scene, place or event that you remember as safe, peaceful, restful, beautiful and happy. You can bring all your senses into the image with, for example, sounds of running water and birds, the smell of cut grass, the taste of c ool white wine, the warmth of the sun, etc. Use the imagined place as a retreat from stress and pressure. Scenes can involve complex images such as lying on a beach in a deserted cove. You may "see" cliffs, sea and sand around you, "hear" the waves crashing against rocks, "smell" the salt in the air, and "feel" the warmth of the sun and a gentle breeze on your body. Other images might include looking at a mountain view, swimming in a tropical pool, or whatever you want. You will be able to come up with the most effective images for yourself. Other uses of imagery in relaxation involve creating mental pictures of stress flowing out of your body, or of stress, distractions and everyday concerns being folded away and locked into a padlocked chest. You can also use imagery in rehearsal before a big event, allowing you to run through the event in your mind.

    Aside from allowing you to rehearse mentally, imagery also allows you to practice in advance for anything unusual that might occur, so that you are prepared and already practiced in handling it. This is a technique used very commonly by top sports people, who learn good performance habits by repeatedly rehearsing performances in their imagination. When the unusual eventualities they

    have rehearsed using imagery occur, they have good, pre-prepared, habitual responses to them. Imagery also allows you to pre-experience achievement of your goals, helping to give you the self-confidence you need to do something well. This is another technique used by successful athletes. Teamwork has a dramatic affect on organizational performance. An effective team can help an organization achieve incredible results. A team that is not working can cause unnecessary disruption, failed delivery and strategic failure.

    Nowadays it is almost impossible to avoid being a member of team. If you're not on an official team at work, chances are you function within one in one way or another. So it's important for your personal and career development to know your team working strengths and weaknesses. This assessment helps you uncover common team working problems that you might be experiencing. Once you've completed the assessment, we direct you towards team tools that will help you to improve and develop these important skills. What comes to mind when you think about an effective team. You might picture a team that works seamlessly as a whole. Everyone brings unique talents and strengths to the table, no-one is playing. Politics or bickering, and there's just enough competitive spirit to bring out the best in everyone. Work gets done effectively, and everyone contributes to the team's goals. It can be a challenge to reach this level of effectiveness if you're putting together a new team, or if you' re developing an existing one. However, it's much easier if you have a plan in place. This highlights a common-sense, step-by-step process for building and maintaining an effective team. Whether you've been tasked with setting up a new team, or you're taking over an existing one, begin by defining the goal of your team. What is its ultimate purpose? What are your expectations? How will your team contribute to your organization's goals and mission? Then create a Team Charter to help clarify your team's objectives. If you're in charge of an existing team, and you want to help it function more effectively, take our Team Effectiveness Assessment. Effective teamwork is

    essential in today's world, but as you'll know from the teams you have led or belonged to, you can't expect a new team to perform exceptionally from the very outset. Team formation takes time, and usually follows some easily recognizable stages, as the team journeys from being a group of strangers to becoming a united team with a common goal. Whether your team is a temporary working group or a newly-formed, permanent team, by understanding these stages you will be able to help it quickly become productive. If you are concerned about effective use of organizational or team time ??? and who isn't tracking what's actually done by whom, and for how long, is a simple and straightforward way of getting answers. By paying close attention and recording people's activities over a period of time, you can learn a great deal about how time is spent in your organization. Teams are the force that drives most organizations. Whether it's a functional team, a team of managers, or a project te am, people get most done when they work together effectively. So when members of a team don't work well together, performance and productivity can suffer. That's not good for anyone. To get connected and stay connected, you need to walk around and talk to your team, work alongside them, ask questions, and be there to help when needed. Have you seen hostility, conflicting goals, and unclear expectations within your teams? These are symptoms of an unhealthy team. To avoid these harmful effects, you need be proactive about improving team performance. And even when a team is meeting its objectives, there's often room for improvement. With good team coaching as distinct from individual coaching you can take your team to the next level. It's a valuable activity, and it's an essential management and leadership tool. As your team gets to know you better, they'll trust you more. You'll be naturally inclined to share more information, and that will break down barriers to communication . Getting out and learning what happening on a daily basis can gives you a better understanding of the functions and processes around you use active listening with your staff. When people feel you're hearing them, you'll probably seem more sincere. Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you

    listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others. We listen to obtain information. We listen to understand. We listen for enjoyment. We listen to learn. Given all this listening we do, you would think we'd be good at it in fact most of us are not. That means that when you talk pay attention to less than half of the conversation. Turn it around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren't hearing the whole message either. Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What's more, you'll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success. Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. By understanding your personal style of communicating, you will go a long way towards creating good and lasting impressions with others. The way to become a better listener is to practice "active listening". This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent. In order to do this you must pay attention to the other person very carefully. You cannot allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you, or by forming counter arguments that you'll make when the other person stops speaking. Nor can you allow yourself to get bored, and lose focus on what the other person is saying. All of these contribute to a lack of listening and understanding. To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you are listening to what he or she is saying. To understand the importance of this, ask yourself if you've ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person w as listening to what you were saying. You wonder if your message is getting across, or if it's even worthwhile continuing to speak. It feels like talking to a brick wall and it's something you want to avoid. Acknowledgement can be something as simple as a nod of the head or a simple ???You aren't necessarily agreeing with the person, you are simply indicating that you are listening. Using body language and

    other signs to acknowledge you are listening also reminds you to pay attention and not let your mind wander.

    You should also try to respond to the speaker in a way that will both encourage him or her to continue speaking, so that you can get the information if you need. While nodding and says you're interested, an occasional question or comment to recap what has been said communicates that you understand the message as well. Teams only perform like this if their leaders are motivating them effectively. This is why you need to be able to motivate your team if you want to create a productive work environment. By combining good motivational practices with meaningful work, the setting of performance goals, and use of an effective reward system, you can establish the kind of atmosphere and culture that you need to excel. The better you are able to link these factors together, the higher the motivation levels of your team are likely to be. That's a win-win for you, them, and the organization. From there you will be directed to specific tools that will help you improve your motivation skil ls. Team-building exercises can be a powerful way to unite a group, develop strengths, and address weaknesses ??? but only if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically. In other words, there has to be a real purpose behind your decision to do the exercise for example, improving the team's problem-solving or creativity skills rather than because you felt like giving your people a nice day. Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors. A sore loser refers to one who does not take defeat well, whereas a good sport means being a "good winner" as well as being a "good loser". Sportsmanship can be conceptualized as an enduring and relatively stable characteristic or disposition such that individuals differ in the way they are generally expected to behave in sport situations.
    In general, sportsmanship refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage, and persistence, and has been associated with interpersonal concepts of treating others and being treated fairly, maintaining self-control if dealing with others, and respect for both authority and opponents. A competitor who exhibits poor sportsmanship after losing a game or contest is often called a "sore loser" those who show poor sportsmanship after winning are typically called "bad winners". Sore loser behavior includes blaming others for the loss, not taking responsibility for personal actions that contributed to the defeat, reacting to the loss in an immature or improper fashion, making excuses for the defeat, and citing unfavorable conditions or other petty issues as reasons for the defeat bad winner acts in a shallow fashion after their victory, such as gloating about his or her win, rubbing the win in the face of opponents, and lowering the opponent's self-est eem by constantly reminding them of how "poorly" they performed in comparison even if they competed well. Sportsmanship typically is regarded as a component of morality in sport, composed of three related and perhaps overlapping concepts: fair play, sportsmanship and character. Fair play refers to all participants having an equitable chance to pursue victory and acting toward others in an honest, straightforward, and firm and dignified manner even when others do not play fairly. It includes respect for others, including team members, opponents, and officials. Character refers to dispositions, values, and habits that determine the way that person normally responds to desires, fears, challenges, opportunities, failures, and successes, and is typically seen in polite behaviors toward others, such as helping an opponent up or shaking hands after a match. An individual is believed to have a ???good character??? when those dispositions and habits reflect core ethical values.

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