Cultural Creativity at Work

Share your ideas about responsible business practices, conscious consuming, social responsibility, the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) and sustainability. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Creativity & the Entrepreneurial Spirit

I doubt I've ever met an entrepreneur who wasn't also creative. Being able to envision a way out of the rat race alone requires creativity -- not to mention the creativity needed to manifest a new source of income.

But what is the relationship between the Creative Entrepreneur and the Cultural Creative Entrepreneur?

Qualities of an Entrepreneur

Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of Before You Quit Your Job, explores what qualities people need to successfully transition from employee to entrepreneur-- and from entrepreneur to business leader.

Kiyosaki's main ideas are:

  1. A successful entrepreneur finds the right idea, the right people to act on the idea and the right money to leverage the project.
  2. A successful entrepreneur operates from freedom and opportunity rather than security and resources.
  3. The best time to answer the tough questions about starting a business is before starting the business. Some of these questions are:

    a. How badly do I want my own business and why?
    b. How much will I extend myself to succeed?
    c. Am I afraid to fail? If so, how can I make this a strength?
    d. Am I willing to educate myself on the essential components of a successful business?

An Entrepreneur Plus Cultural Creative Values = A Social Entrepreneur

Cultural Creative entrepreneurs, more often referred to as social entrepreneurs, are those entrepreneurs who focus on creating innovations and inventions that improve life for everyone.

Bill Drayton of Ashoka, an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting social entrepreneurship as well as transforming the face of social innovation, points out that social entrepreneurs "are not content just to give a fish...or to teach someone how to fish. [Social entrepreneurs] will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry."

We could easily say that the social entrepreneur has a bit more to chew than the average entrepreneur: the concern for people, planet and profit.

And yet social entrepreneurs have taken a step in a new direction -- from the non-profit and charitable forms into the commercial sector. Now social entrepreneurs are realizing that it's okay -- nay, preferable to capitalize on their good works.
  • Profit is one characteristic of a healthy organization because it is the result of
  • Profit creates an obvious incentive to work and produce.
  • The commercial sector has more flexibility and agility than the non-profit sector.
  • Jerr Boschee notes that: "Living from year to year does not ensure the future, and that is the moment when [founders] begin migrating from innovation to entrepreneurship." (Batstone)
  • Donald Trump believes that charity creates a culture of entitlement.
  • Robert Harrington: "If you want to help poor people of the world, step one is to make sure you're not one of them."
  • Molly Gordon: "When we keep our businesses on starvation diets, they present famished faces to the world."

So what's the problem with non-profit?

Paraphrasing Mathew Richter, non-profit creator:
  • Because there are so many non-profits, there's far less money for individual nonprofits now than there was 30 years ago.
  • The government requires quantified results vs. qualified results -- prioritizing performance over mission. And this means lots of paperwork.
  • The nonprofit structure hampers nonprofits' ability to compete with for-profits in the commercial realm. A nonprofit has the same opportunity as a for-profit, but because a non-profit isn't allowed to capitalize, they have to grow the business through programs and fundraising. By the time this happens, the opportunity has passed.
Regina Herzlinger says that neither nonprofits nor government are to be trusted. She writes that "they lack the three basic accountability measures that ensure effective and efficient business operation: the self-interest of owners, competition, and [because of the "decision by committee" structure] the ultimate bottom-line measure of accountability." Everyone and no one is accountable

The 'tyranny' of a board of directors is at the crux of the problem of whether the nonprofit structure works for an organization," continues consultant Claudia Bach.

Share Your Wisdom
  • How did you start your business?
  • What internal resources , or qualities, made it possible for you to make it a reality?
  • What advice would you give other budding Cultural Creative / social entrepreneurs?
  • What legal status (for-profit or non-profit) is your business and why did you choose that status?

Subject Matter: business wisdom, small business, entrepreneurs, entrepreneur, big business, courage, starting a business, business startup, business start-up, micro business, book report, book review, book summary, book synopsis, book abstract, Robert T. Kiyosaki, Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Before You Quit Your Job

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