Open up your networks to collaborate and support entrepreneurs through the crisis and beyond.
If you didn’t get a chance to check out InBIA’s Leading Through Uncertainty Webinar, we have a recording here…and thanks to RIDG for the great visual summary!
There’s no lack of support or information flying around via all communication channels for how to manage the COVID-19 crisis…and no matter how many articles I read about working from home, videoconferencing will still fail. Instead of just giving you another list of resources, I wanted to start by sharing a few observations (though we also have several resources available in our latest newsletter).
Collaboration is something we all strive for because we know that when done well, it can accelerate our ability to learn, adjust and create solutions that are useful for our customers and communities. Collaboration across entrepreneurial ecosystems varies tremendously, but there’s no better time to iron it out and find ways to work together as a unified front for entrepreneurs of all kinds in your communities.
Thea Chase of CREEDA Projects started a discussion on the InBIA Exchange related to the role entrepreneurial support organizations can play by coordinating awareness efforts to reach our target groups, streamlining the information and making it more digestible. “I am sure that most of you are involved with state and regional (if not national) response initiatives to assist and support SMEs, entrepreneurs and ecosystems to survive and grow during this time.”
Thea’s question and challenge: how might we also establish a second line of information and assistance by providing mentorship and professional services to entrepreneurs? And what platforms might enable the backend of these efforts? (go ahead and log into the Exchange and then click this link if you have ideas!).
Working together to provide advice and credible resources will create tremendous value for our communities. Reach out to other organizations and offer to share resources. So many small business owners are not used to the idea of pivoting their business models and quickly ramping up new technologies that are critical for operating in a constantly shifting landscape. I love the idea from Anne-Marie Maman, Executive Director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, of opening up your mentor database. The Purdue Research Foundation has created a list of COVID-19 experts who can advise on economic management and recovery during and after the crisis.
Imagine if any entrepreneur could book office hours and get advice on how to implement a change in approach to help them weather the crisis or even change their business model for good.
This video (Coronavirus Has Hospitals in Desperate Need of Equipment. These Innovators Are Racing to Help) demonstrates how technology can not only solve the big innovation challenges we face today, but can also drive collaboration to accelerate these inventions. Consider opening up a Slack channel for your community for entrepreneurship and ecosystem leaders. I’ve heard from my friends with 3D printers – they’ve been tapped and are working overtime…so thanks to all of you out there who are helping. I’m proud to be a part of this community!
Collaborate to build a resilient community
There’s also an article here from HBR about leading in a time of crisis. I particularly like the bit about using resilience principles to develop new ways of working and delivering your product or service.
Redundancy, diversity, modularity, evolvability, prudence and embeddedness. Check out the article for ideas on each of those, reach out to your ecosystem, give first, and “…be prepared for a changed world.” (HBR, 2020)