The Century of the Generals and Sustainability
Lisa Gansky, Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Angel Investor and Instigator, has been an entrepreneur for about 20 years, specialising in internet related businesses. She draws on this wealth of experience to talk to the new Connect 2014 delegates about the shift in the way that organisations are run in the 21st Century.
According to Lisa, the world we work in has changed drastically over the last few years. She likes to refer to the 20th Century as the age of the generals. Businesses were generally run from the top down. There was one leader to a much larger team. Directions came down from above to be followed. This has changed in the 21st Century. We now have a culture of many to many. Companies are highly creative and much more open and collaborative.
This shift has been driven in part by:
Population – this is not only growing but also shifting towards urban areas. This lack of space leads to the need to share more
Climate Change – this is forcing us all to look at the different relationships within our businesses and how they will be affected
Connection – we are now much more easily connected to other people and things which reduces friction caused by the need to share
Entrepreneurs are trained to try new things and fail early and inexpensively then use this experience to what is now known as “pivot”. Lisa describes this culture of failure actually as a culture of success due to the acceptance of going round in circles.
It is vital for successful entrepreneurs to be able to “Define, Refine and Scale”. Many are good at the first two of these but scaling can be much more difficult. This is often due to lack of funds so can be helped by joining up with big corporates.
There is a current shift towards the design of better products, in particular those that can be shared more easily in light of the changes in society mentioned above. Shared cars are having a huge impact on the car industry. This is not only on manufacture companies but also those that repair them and their parts. However, it is not only cars that are starting to be shared more. There is a current trend towards everything becoming more shared which will continue.
Lisa’s advice to the new Connect delegates is to get stuck in and try a few things out to see where it may lead.
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