“Making money and doing good in the world are not mutually exclusive.”
— Arianna Huffington, Author, Thrive:The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
“Successful business interactions today are a combination of high tech and high touch.”
— Barry Cohen, Author, Startup Smarts:The Thinking Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Growing Your Business
Information is truly the currency of the Digital Age, where people partake of constantly shifting streams and power hubs and entrepreneurial opportunities to broker this power along the pipeline. All you need is a WiFi connection, some time on your hands, and a desire to learn. Oh yeah, don’t forget to polish your consulting chops and create and launch a product/service that renders someone else’s service/product obsolete. Or solves a major pain point collectively felt in our increasingly transparent and globally connected society.
We are all headed towards greater connectivity this year; technologically and socially. Wearable tech is becoming a reality, changing the curricula surrounding digital citizenship and the collaborative dynamic of the workplace and those in it. Collaboration, both the catalyst and the outcome, is causing a ripple effect felt in all arenas, especially in entrepreneurship and The Internet of Things.
It’s been predicted that collaboration will become the buzzword of 2015 as a whole. It’s not just for startups or exhibitors at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas this month. The wearable technology trend is symptomatic of a paradigm shift in focus re: what entrepreneurs need to hone in on, and hone within themselves; education and “soft” skills; the most crucial one being collaboration.
Collaboration is what separates the givers from the takers, imbues one’s work with higher purpose, and reconciles the high-tech and high-touch aspects to business transactions in today’s shared economy.
Education and collaboration can and will help us all better balance humanity and technology in the iEra.
Both are the raisons d’être of my business book, The NICE Reboot, and my recently launched NICE Initiative mission. Collaboration in particular, and the connotation of connectivity to promote change, has been both an adjective and verb for me since I was small. It’s driven my outlook as both an educator and entrepreneur. It’s shaped my behavior in the ways I formed friendships since childhood and later entered the workforce as an educator/speech-language pathologist and communications specialist.
It’s carried me as a startup entrepreneur who in 2012 created the first of its kind iPad App. It’s a collaborative, digital, user-friendly, developmental, and inexpensive social skills assessment protocol for both parents and professionals to evaluate and treat behaviorally at risk children, such as those with Autism. The Socially Speaking™ iPad App is available in iTunes and is part of my (soon to be published) Socially Speaking™ Social Communication Curriculum and seminars I give around the country. You could say that my educator and entrepreneur DNA is spliced and co-joined in my workflow and the persona I present to the world.
Global connectivity through technology is rendering both laymen and tech-geeks, not to mention Millennials, the new breed of artists and leaders. Leaders whose savvy branding via social media, website design, and innovation all stem from their collaborative mindset and execution. Leaders who understand the benefits of utilizing collaboration for social corporate responsibility and social entrepreneurship for the greater good and greater sustainability. Leaders whose attitudes are contagious and replicable; driving engagement in real time and online, offsetting fear, and most importantly counteracting the dark side of leadership; hubris and “silo thinking” reminiscent of the worst stories of corporate CEOs.
Social technology is also rendering both laymen and experts the new go-to thought leaders and virtual mentors, creating ecosystems and self-sustaining legacies and opportunity to do social good. I will be speaking about this on 1/27/15 for my personal branding webinar sponsored by HBA and Dr. Tasha Sims. I will also speak about this on 1/28/15 as a panelist at this event sponsored by NYU and Dr. Roger Kuperways. He has organized both the Startup Pioneers and Business on a Shoestring networks and networking events in Manhattan. They are two ecosystems and petri-dishes which hit home that learning the ropes of entrepreneurship; especially its culture and related etiquette, go far beyond getting an MBA.
Bloggers in particular, especially bloggers like the one I aspire to be, are innovators and both student and teacher in a universal classroom. Our blogger credo helps us actively collaborate and redefine culture for the better. It also helps us actively nurture collaboration, every time we cite someone else in our posts; especially if we are entrepreneurs.
The Blogger’s Credo in the iEra is something I have adopted and shared on my Pinterest board, The NICE Initiative for Collaboration and Entrepreneurship.
The Blogger’s Credo in the iEra:
- I Think
- I Question
- I Reflect
- I Try
- I Struggle
- I Solve
- I Invent
- I Create
- I Learn
- I Teach
- I Collaborate
Blogging is more than a marketing gimmick or networking ploy on my part. It’s more than a means towards forming strategic partnerships in a digitally connected world. Thought leadership is the new frontier for social good, and MUST be shared and learned from! Blogging can truly help people, especially entrepreneurs, connect the “dots” between:
• One’s past/present/future trends and best practices
• An industry’s problems/solutions
• A professional service/product; need, perception, and performance
• A seasoned employer and employee’s relevance/irrelevance and skill set
• A person’s inner and outer landscape i.e. Theory of Mind which drives the most important human pursuit of all; the cognitive-behavioral and moral transition of Me > We
Today’s entrepreneur blogger has the capacity to shape cultural trends. Today’s entrepreneur blogger has a more robust toolbox to generate calls to action and disrupt industries; one blogpost at a time, one day at a time. Evan Burfield, Co-Founder 1776, wrote one of the most profound posts I’ve read in the past few years. It’s about the future of entrepreneurship and what impact really means. It really resonated with me as a blogger in both the education and entrepreneurship arena, and I have quoted him often:
At the end of the day, it’s cool that an entrepreneur can make a billion dollars from a blogging site. It’s profound, however, when an entrepreneur changes the arc of history by improving the way we educate our children, our health, or how we manage our resources.
Why not me?
* This post also appears in my LinkedIn Blog.