Foreword: When NME reached the think zone (the Yellow Zone), we started thinking about “business unusual.” It became clear that we were engaged in disruptive innovation. Accordingly, I developed an alternative socially responsible, self-managed, profit-sharing business model to which we could aspire. We began developing values, missions, visions, goals and objectives based on those new business standards.
And now, as we reach the strategies in strategic planning, disruptive innovation is self- evident. It is my core business and it is about your business.
Strategies are the “hows” for reaching our goals and objectives and there is no bigger how question than, “How are we going to change the way capitalism and economics works for us.”
Now that we’re pursuing strategies, we’re past thinking. We’re moving into the hard space of reality.
All of us, whether indie-entrepreneurs or companies of one, will be engaged in different lines of work. But disruptive innovation will be our mutuality. Socially responsible, self-managed, profit-sharing enterprise will be our way of doing business whether in the workplace or the marketplace.
Disruptive Innovation Starts Small, Goes Big
Disruptive innovation is a term coined by Harvard University Professor Clay Christensen (see video this page). The term represents a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing competitors.
It’s actually an old story but a new term.
Examples of Disruptive Innovation
- Personal computers which left mainframes in the dust by making computing available to everyone
- Mini mills instead of steel mills
- Cellular phones instead of land line technology
- Community colleges instead of four-year colleges
- Discount retailers instead of full-service department stores
- Retail medical clinics instead of doctor’s offices
And add NME and COWORK Entrepreneurs to that list because they use the socially responsible, self-managed, profit-sharing business model developed by COWORK Entrpreneurs while drafting NotMyEconomics. Adopt the model and you are already a disruptive innovator.
Disruptive Innovation Gives You the Edge
So you see, disruptive innovation has a place in any line of business and by taking this course you are on your way to being qualified. As “doing business unusual” grows, so will your reputation and your success.
The COMMONS Business Model flattens the universally used vertical line chart used by large organizations into a Venn diagram engaging (not employing) indie entrepreneurs like yourself who own their own work and are compensated through profit-sharing, not payroll. There are no bosses and people work for profit, not paychecks.
How could anything be more disruptively innovative than that?
Your business, whatever it is, will be able to make the disruptive innovation claim whether you are selling widgets or giving advice.
Now the Bottom Rung Feels Good
As a certified indie entrepreneur or company of one, you will be ready to step up to the bottom rung. Conduct yourself in the workplace as a solopreneur who is focused on your personal success, not just the company’s. You will have the option of going it alone.
You should feel good about being there, knowing that disruptive innovation is capable of challenging the most formidable establishment you face. As an indie entrepreneur you are no longer dependent on the company. You’re mobile. You have options.
You may not be part of the COWORK Entrpreneurs Venn organizational structure just yet, but your main startup strategy as an indie entrepreneur is still based on The COMMONS Business Model.
Your core strategy is to make it widely known that you are a socially responsible, self-managed, profit-sharing indie entrepreneur or company of one and your sharing begins by keeping your money in the local economy where it belongs. Profit sharing with others in your organization will come when (and if) you’ve become an organization.
COWORK Entrapreneus example
Once again I offer The COMMONS Business Model. as an example of a socially responsible strategic plan.
It’s likely that my business is much more complex than yours and so my strategies are perhaps more detailed. But each individual strategy supports the core strategy of disruptive innovation as expressed previously in the values, mission, vision, goals and objectives of COWORK Entrepreneurs.
- Design and implement a system of governance over profit sharing and capital management controlled by all who have created the profit.
- Those who are engaged in the work of COWORK, from the owner and leaders to the indie entrepreneurs, have equal votes over financial policy.
- Establish democratically developed guidelines for fair profit sharing and capital management that will add benefits such as healthcare and retirement programs.
- Restrict the reinvestment of excess profits to the communities from which they came, primarily through savings, investments, grants and loans to franchisees.
- Keep the content of the NotMyEconomics online course open to the public as a public service to those who need it most but have the least ability to pay.
- At the same time, use NME as a vehicle for marketing and public relations, spreading the word and promoting the new economic model.
- Vigorously recruit highly motivated, seasoned professionals for leadership for COWORK Entrepreneurs while making a place for other indie capitalists who want to benefit from engagement with others.
- Implement a system of self-management based on the concept “follow and lead, lead and follow.”
- Provide a management model that requires people at all levels to accept responsibility for their own work. No bosses needed.
- Formally organize COWORK Entrepreneurs as a franchisor.
- Establish a system of performance assurance that gives every colleague the responsibility of engaging in collegial monitoring, mentoring and subsequent enforcement.
- Be prepared to adjust and revise the strategies and practices of COWORK Entrepreneurs and its franchisees as the model gains experience. Lead and follow, follow and lead.
Tactics follow these strategies and I will share those with you in the Green Zone where the rubber meets the road. For instance, the strategy of co-developer recruitment and engagement is fleshed out as a critical part of the action plan.
Back to Your Drawing Board
Meanwhile, I want you to develop your own strategies.
You may find that you can simply adopt or modify some of my strategies since you are following the principles of COWORK Entrepreneurs. In other cases you will likely need to develop strategies that are unique to your type of enterprise.
It would make sense for you to go online and search for the strategies of other businesses like yours.
If you have not completed your goals and objectives, go back there first. Each one of these steps follows the other. Even if you’ve finished goals and objectives, you will need to refer back. And as you develop your strategies you may find yourself going back to revise the original goals and objectives to fit your strategies.
And shuffle those items around that are misplaced in the wrong category.
It Isn’t Over ‘Til It’s Over
By now you should have experienced the evolution that takes place in the strategic planning process. Keep your mind open. As we travel through tactics to implementation, the ideas will be forever changing. Evolution is infinite. When change stops, evolution is over and your business is history!
Please move on to the next essay
Strategies and Social Responsibility