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    WiredBIZ Articles: Trends

    Entrepreneurs and WiredBIZ

    By Rick Tonita
    Sep 21, 2006, 11:02
    E-Mail Article
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    Why WiredBIZ? Why Now?  


    We are in the process of major and fast paced continuous change. Previous generations could count on the future being pretty well much like the past. This generation and generations to come will experience futures that are dramatically different from the present and the past.


    Alvin and Heidi Toffler, America’s senior futurists, state in their latest book Revolutionary Wealth that the average job tenure is less than 2 years. We are going to have to learn to be entrepreneurs just to market our skills as most work will be project rather than job based. Thomas Freidman in The World is Flat points out that work is being contracted out globally to any location that is wired electronically – accounting, computer programming, legal contracts, etc.


    John Grant in After Image shares that the Image Age (1950’s to the early 90’s) was about education, advancing our careers, competing with others and establishing our lifestyles with the driving urge being ‘Status’.  He called this the ‘Consumer Ethic’ - a period of time where we thought we were successful if we dressed in the style that was currently in vogue, drove the coolest car, lived in the right neighbourhood, had our kids in the right activities, etc. I believe we called it “keeping up with the Jones.”


    Grant goes on to say that in the mid 90’s the majority of us began to shift our outlook on life from the ‘Consumer Ethic’ to what he called the ‘Learning Ethic.’ This outlook on life begins with our passion for creating what matters to us individually and collectively, collaborating with others, building networks of people we can count on to get things done while retaining our autonomy. The driving urge in this new Learning Ethic is ‘continuous learning.’  This is a major shift and it is only beginning.


    Other researchers like Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson have called the people who have had this major shift in worldviews “The Cultural Creatives”. Ed Keller and Jon Berry labelled this group of people as “The Influentials”. This group of people who now number close to 60% of the population have predominant worldviews or mental models that are issue oriented vs. politically oriented, they are concerned about the whole of the planet and they are highly creative in nature.  


    So what does all this have to do with WiredBIZ?  North Americans by more than a 3:1 margin said they would prefer to have their own business over being a top executive of a larger corporation. By a 5:1 margin they said they would rather own their own business than hold an important position in politics or government. Another way of saying this is that the dream of the past was to get an MBA and a position in a large organization and the dream of the future is to follow your own path and be the master of your own destiny. This sounds a lot like being an entrepreneur doesn’t it?  


    Where is there a place for this ever increasing segment of the population to explore, to learn, and to dialogue about being an entrepreneur?


    That is what the bright minds behind WiredBIZ are creating – a place for entrepreneurs from around the world to connect, dialogue, share and learn. The minds behind WiredBIZ are accomplished entrepreneurs. They live the daily ‘entrepreneur’s experience’. They experience the passion of creating what matters to them, the fear of the unknown, the financial concerns that come with owning your own business, and the joy of creating and adding value to other’s lives like only entrepreneurs can. They are certainly qualified to create and host this great meeting place for entrepreneurs.   


    Why is this meeting place so important?


    Because the future is going to be dramatically different than the past. Lorraine Bolsinger, VP of Ecomagination with GE Corporation states:  "Its old thinking to imagine that you can hold on to a business model and outsmart the consumer. You can't." It is time for new business models, structures and experiences. WiredBIZ provides the opportunity to enter into a global dialogue about the new expectations of customers and an exploration of the way people want to live and work in a knowledge age economy.


    We do have examples of great minds to follow who are exploring new processes for creating better futures. Below are a few paragraphs from an article entitled Collective Wisdom which provides insight into these great minds’ purpose, vision and courage:


    "Inspired by the possibility of creating a unified planet wide transformative team, a small group of dynamos out of Boston are about to launch what may be the single most ambitious collective wisdom effort yet. Determined to grapple head-on with the most troubling problems facing the world today, Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Otto Scharmer, Adam Kahne and their team of colleagues are rolling out the Global Leadership Initiative—an effort that aims for nothing less than to “generate a 'tipping point' in humanity's ability to address its most critical global challenges.” By developing a network of leaders “from all sectors of the human community—who understand how to harness the collective power of small groups to co-create better futures,” over the next five years, they plan to “launch ten international projects that will address inherently global challenges, such as AIDS, malnutrition, water, and climate change.” And what's more, they intend to do it with “a standard of excellence and professionalism unsurpassed by any other organization or institution.”


    In our cynical age, it's not often that you find a group of people so confidently optimistic about their capacity to bring about significant global change. But before you write off this activism-on-steroids as the product of naïveté, hubris, or hyperbolic idealism, consider that the individuals at the helm are some of the most influential organizational minds in the world. In their work at MIT, Generon Consulting, and the Society for Organizational Learning, these management moguls have been pushing the envelope of collective learning and innovation for two decades. At the vanguard of large-scale systems change and leadership development, they've worked closely with multinational corporations, government agencies, and NGOs throughout the world."


    Over the next months through a series of articles we at Global Partners intend to explore the statements in the above article that we believe define the work of the entrepreneurs of the future. “Developing a network of leaders from all sectors of the human community—who understand how to harness the collective power of small groups to co-create better futures, And what's more, do it with a standard of excellence and professionalism unsurpassed by any other organization or institution.”  What are the structures of the future? What are customers asking for? How do entrepreneurs want to live and work in the future? How can we honor our offers and promises?  How do we build global networks of entrepreneurs? How do we work together in manner that generates predictable and sustainable growth? Who are the leading minds in the fields of customer research, marketing, the cognitive sciences (how we learn) and what is being discovered about personal, leadership and organizational development?


    We believe that through using the collective genius of the worlds’ leading minds and applying it to creating global entrepreneurial virtual networks we will create a new standard for customer experiences and a structure for generating successful entrepreneurs that will be unparalleled in the history of business.


    Thank you WiredBIZ for creating a place to explore the world of being an entrepreneur.

    Rick Tonita
    Global Partners Inc.
    (604) 531-8123 Ext: 230

    We welcome your feedback at

    Global Partners Inc. is a consulting company that specializes in working with direct selling organizations. They have invested 11 years in applying leading edge research from multiple disciplines to evolve value delivery chains for selecting and developing successful entrepreneurs and for creating exceptional customer experiences.

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