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Can Entrepreneurship Help Student Success in Rural Colleges?

Posted By Leah Deppert, Monday, June 15, 2015

This week, our President and CEO, Rebecca Corbin, is attending the 2015 Community Colleges of Appalachia Annual Conference. The Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA) is a voluntary association of public community colleges serving the common interests of member colleges and their communities through programs and services responsive to the unique cultural, geographic, and economic development challenges facing the region.     

Rebecca is honored to speak on the following topic: “Setting the Stage for Student Success in Rural Colleges with Entrepreneurship”. In this presentation, her guiding questions are:

  • Why is entrepreneurship important?
  • What stories offer powerful lessons? 
  • How does "grit" factor into student success?
  • How can a national organization help you?

Download her slide deck attached to this post and follow her tweets at @RebeccaCorbin7.

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 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  community college  Community Colleges of Appalachia  entrepreneurship  grit  NACCE 

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NISOD2015: Community College Leaders As Entrepreneurs

Posted By Leah Deppert, Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

During May 23rd-26th, our President & CEO, Rebecca Corbin, and our Membership Coordinator, Guin Griswold, had the opportunity to travel down to Austin, Texas for NISOD2015. This conference gathered together community and technical college educators from around the world seeking best practices to improve student achievement.

Rebecca was honored to be granted the opportunity to present at this conference. Her presentation was titled, “Community College Leaders As Entrepreneurs”. She co-presented with Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, President of Clark State College, in which they discussed the following questions:

  • Why is entrepreneurship important?
  • What strategies are effective?
  • What stories offer powerful lessons?
  • How can NACCE can help you?


They asked that attendees would live-tweet their thoughts on entrepreneurship in community college and that one lucky winner would win free registration (valued at $950) for our conference, #NACCE2015! We are pleased to announce that Mario Olivera from South Texas won!

To view Rebecca & Dr. Blondin’s presentation deck, please see the attached PDF.

A special thank you to NISOD for a great conference!

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  entrepreneurship  NACCE  NISOD2015 

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Turning Oranges into Lemonade: A Lesson in the Entrepreneurial Method

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Friday, April 24, 2015
Updated: Friday, April 24, 2015

By: Sara Whiffen, Insights Ignited (Effectuation expert for the Coleman ECIA Community of Practice)

Email: sara.whiffen@insightsignited.com

Lilly Pulitzer’s perky patterns incited a mad rush at Target stores this week. Customers were in a frenzy to acquire the bright colors and floral designs that are the hallmark of the preppy brand.  The brand evokes feelings of country clubs and lazy summer lemonade days.  But its creation is rooted in orange juice.

As the story goes, long before Lilly Pulitzer was a brand, she was a wealthy socialite.  Raised in high society New York, she married and moved to Florida where her husband owned a large orange grove. 

Wanting to help with the family business, she would often push a small cart of fresh oranges through a local park.  Dressed in her cool summer whites, she would sell fresh orange juice to passers-by.   Peeling and squeezing the oranges by hand left her with sticky fingers and stained clothing.  Conscious of her appearance, this was just not acceptable to her. 

Inspiration struck one day as she glanced at a set of curtains in her home and thought that the loud, colorful pattern of their 1960s style would surely disguise those persistent orange stains.  She went to a fabric store, purchased a similar design, and fashioned from it a simple shift dress.

Wearing this in the park while pushing her cart, she stood out among the crisp white outfits worn by others.  Her look began to attract as much attention as her fresh orange juice.  Customers began asking for not just a glass of juice, but inquiring as to where they too could purchase a similar dress.  After hearing more and more of these inquiries, she began to make some of the dresses for others.  Her popularity grew and she was able to build an entire brand line from this small start. 

The effectual lemonade principal is clear here.  Her business at the time was selling orange juice.  She did not aspire to grow a fashion brand.  But she was open to trying new things and believed in her ability to solve problems in a way that would work to her advantage.  And when life gave her lemons – or orange juice – she embraced them fully and made her own lemonade.  

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  community college  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  insights ignited  lilly pulitzer  NACCE  target 

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Let's Talk Effectuation with Sara Whiffen

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Tuesday, March 31, 2015

There's More to Affordable Risk in Higher Ed. 

By: Sara Whiffen, Insights Ignited

Sara.whiffen@insightsignited.com

When we talk about Affordable Risk in the context of our colleges it becomes clear that there are a set of special risks that exist in the organizational context that are unique to higher education. We asked Sara Whiffen, Effectuation consultant to the NACCE Coleman Foundation Grant Community of Practice to share her perspectives on this topic and here are her top 5 special risks.

1.   Bureaucratic risk- How much are you willing to go off plan?

2.   Cultural risk- Is there a lack of universal understanding about effectuation? Are you culturally disassociated- do you feel like the odd man out?

3.   Reputation risk- The risk of being too far out of the norm- swimming upstream.

4.   Failure risk- Being branded as the failure- it is inherent in entrepreneurship, but not so with institutions.

5.   Solopreneur risk- The idea that as the manager of an entrepreneurship program you have the sole responsibility for entrepreneurship- “lone wolf” doesn’t work it requires shared creation.

Do you see this on your campus? Can you think of other affordable risks you see in the organizational environment? Chime in on the effectuation conversation.

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  community college  economic development  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  higher education  insights ignited  NACCE 

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Let's Talk Effectuation with Sara Whiffen

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Monday, March 23, 2015
Updated: Monday, March 23, 2015

 

What is Affordable Loss?

By: Sara Whiffen, Insights Ignited

sara.whiffen@insightsignited.com 

 

We asked our Coleman ECIA Community of Practice Effectuation Expert Sara Whiffen to weigh in on a good definition of the Affordable Loss principle and how it relates to community colleges as we teach and advise prospective and current entrepreneurs. Here's what Sara had to say.


  • Affordable loss is what you are willing to lose to make the idea successful.
  • What it is not—it is not expected return. It is not a forecasted upside.
  • Most importantly, it is not a desire to lose money.

It’s not saying that you’re going to throw it away or intentionally lose money. Instead, it’s saying that if you have to lose it, it won’t bankrupt you. It’s the recognition that innovation is based on experimentation and failures that lead to successes.


Affordable loss is the safety net in response to “true” uncertainty. Making decisions in the presence of uncertainty is the essence of entrepreneurship – economists tell us this. There is known. Unknown. And Unknowable risk. Affordable loss is how you can venture into the Unknowable territory. To truly be innovative you have to go there. Affordable loss serves as your safety net in this.

 

It sets you up for more options in the future. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. 

 

Stay tuned because in Sara's next blog she will share the perspective of affordable loss as it relates to the intrapreneur within the community college.

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  effectuation  entrepreneurship  Insights Ignited  NACCE 

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Crazy Quilt – Boss by Commitment

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Monday, March 16, 2015

By: Bruce McHenry, Business Faculty, South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, AZ

Email: bruce.mchenry@southmountaincc.edu

As one of the colleges in the Community of Practice for this year’s Entrepreneurial College in Action grant – Powered by the Coleman Foundation – we’re spending a lot of time talking, presenting, and thinking about Effectuation and the Effectual Cycle.  One of our observations: as we build the Crazy Quilt of self-selected co-creators – we are gaining “bosses by commitment”.  In our formal positions on campus, faculty, staff, administrator, etc., we have a role and a responsibility to our bosses in their role.  As faculty, I have a Division Chair, a Dean, a Vice President and a President.  All have formal authority as defined by the lines and boxes on the organization chart. 

By contrast when we meet a co-creator who hears about our Bird in Hand (means) and Affordable Loss (risk) and Goals – when that person commits and self-selects to join our Quilt – we have made them a boss by commitment.  They have no formal authority, but by committing we now have an obligation to them and they have obligation to us.  With a new co-creator our quilt has gained new means and possibly a different risk of loss.  We must evaluate that.  With new means we may have new goals.  Those new goals may mean a loss of autonomy as I’m now moving jointly (I was desperately trying for some pun here about knitting the quilt but fail!) with that new boss, whose commitment makes them one of the Pilots-in-the-Plane. Sounds a touch scary, but in reality very fun!  We’re getting to engage with all sorts of committed folks who are opening up new opportunities for our students and community entrepreneurs.  More good news to come!

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  NACCE  south mountian community college 

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Spotlight on #PHXstartupweek

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Monday, March 02, 2015

By: Jeff Saville, Gateway CEI, Phoenix AZ

Email contact: jeff.saville@ceigateway.com 

 

The end of February saw the spotlight shine bright on the greater Phoenix area and its burgeoning entrepreneurial scene. Phoenix Startup Week, powered by Chase, was a celebration of local startups, their supporters, and our cities. From Scottsdale to Tempe to downtown Phoenix, the week was filled with presentations from some of the best entrepreneurial talent in the community.

 

The Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation was one of the stops during the week as CEI showcased a growing subculture within the ecosystem: medical device startups. In partnership with MedicoVentures and Phoenix Analysis Design & Technologies (PADT), the afternoon featured Bret Larsen of eVisit, Kent Dicks of Alere Connect, and Matthew Likens of Ultera, Inc., offering their perspectives on the growth and commercialization process for med tech companies. The event culminated with tours of PADT “Startup Labs” at CEI, which features 3D printing and design opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout Phoenix – with a particular focus on medical devices. (For more info, read AZ Tech Beat’s recap: http://aztechbeat.com/2015/02/3d-printing-cei-gateway-padt-phxstartupweek)

 

Overall, every startup ecosystem needs defining moments such as these to gain additional support from the general community – particularly the "uninitiated" outsiders – and to generate local and national exposure for its entrepreneurial initiatives. For at least one week, greater Phoenix incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, support organizations, corporate partners, and of course entrepreneurs consciously abstained from “operation in isolation” and joined forces to share their stories and learn about one another’s efforts. And we certainly consider Phoenix Startup Week a huge success as a result.

 

To reference Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s tweet on the week: “Nearly [2000] registered, [we are] ready to energize our entrepreneurial ecosystem.”


Here’s to doing it all over again next year!

Tags:  community college  economic development  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  Gateway CEI  Maricopa Corporate College  NACCE 

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Let's Talk Effectuation with Sara Whiffen

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Thursday, February 26, 2015

The numbers behind Effectuation- How do we show progress in the Entrepreneurial College?

By: Sara Whiffen, Insights Ignited

Email: sara.whiffen@insightsignited.com

 

Consider evaluating your effectual activities in three primary buckets:

    1. Actions  -- Things I did
    2. Activities – How others got involved
    3. Impact – What the outcomes were

Use Qualitative Tracking:

Marketing as a discipline has faced similar challenges (Brand awareness, Customer loyalty, Customer Relationships).

 

What can we learn from them? 

1.     Process:  Define; Measure; Report; Refine

2.     What’s the effectual equivalent of Customer Relationships, Stakeholders, Presales?·      

 

Are there other ideas?  Try tracking mindset change

 

Try framing Qualitative Measurement using the 5 Principles of Effectuation:

1.     Bird in Hand- Did you discover / use any previously slack assets?  Identify things borrowed / recycled rather than purchased.

2.     Affordable Loss- How did you manage to a minimal investment until you saw the idea take root? 

3.     Crazy Quilt- What actions have you taken to nurture co-creative relationships? What ways did you foster for people to create connections? How was a diverse population exposed to your process, so as to increase resources and co-creation opportunities?  What did your stakeholders bring to the project?  Have you made any new relationships?  Engaged any new stakeholders?  Who and what do they bring to the project? 

4.     Lemonade- What did you put in place to remain flexible and take advantage of opportunities as they arise? Did you make any changes to the plan based on new information / partners / resources? 

5.     Pilot in Plane-  What positive externalities did you receive from this worldview? Are people on your team thinking effectually?  Do they feel more confident /optimistic / more in control?   

 

Let’s not forget the Quantitative tracking:

1.     Bird in Hand-  How were costs reduced by using existing resources? 

2.     Affordable Loss-  Manage to a “spending” or “investment” budget of no more than…$x. 

3.     Crazy Quilt-   Stakeholders – how many are participating?  Are any of these new to your group?  Note:  This is not about getting the most.  But about growing awareness of the co-creation principle through consideration.  How many stakeholders invested more this time than previously? How many stakeholders brought new voices to the table? Percentage increase in number of stakeholders. Number of new areas entered with partners.  Number of students engaged.  Number of community members engaged.

4.     Lemonade-  Dollars saved due to unanticipated acts.  Positive outcomes due to unanticipated acts

5.     Pilot in Plane-  Percentage of time you / your team spend “effectuating”.  Percentage decrease in costs to experiment. Percentage of new ideas tried.  Number of failures (If you’re not failing, you’re not trying – and you’re not learning). Percentage of people impacted / reached by the new idea (remember to define “impacted” at beginning of project). Use these to set a baseline and then look for changes over time.  

 

We Measure and Track- But then what? 

1.     Publicize·      

  • Integrate with existing reporting.  
  • Create a separate effectual dashboard or highlights report.
  • Tell your stories.

2.     Recognize

  • See successes – reward them
  • Acknowledge failures – learn from them

3.     Reorganize

  • Resistance?  Bring the discussion to what you’re really trying to accomplish and allow the input to shape future iterations.    

 

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  community college  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  insights ignited  NACCE 

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Eastern WV Community & Technical College Gets the Whole Community Speaking Effectuation

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Monday, February 23, 2015

Opportunities for Business Startups Available in Wardensville by Jean Flanagan

Reprint Courtesy of the Moorefield Examiner Newspaper, Moorefield WV February 4, 2015

As community colleges and NACCE members we talk about Effectuation (the Entrepreneurial Method) frequently, but Entrepreneur in Residence Joe Kapp & Eastern WV CTC President Chuck Terrell are taking it to the streets of their community and making it part of the local vocabulary on entrepreneurship and small business. Check out this great front page article from their local newspaper. This is definitely "Entrepreneurship in Action". 

For more information contact Joe Kapp at Joseph.Kapp@easternwv.edu


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Tags:  Coleman Foundation  community college  Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical Coll  economic development  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  NACCE 

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Let's Talk Effectuation with Sara Whiffen

Posted By Christine Pigsley, Sunday, February 08, 2015

We invite you to share in a conversation with Sara Whiffen, Effectuation expert and the Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurial Colleges in Action grantees on a question that many of us deal with on our campuses every day. 

Which metrics or measurements do you think best capture the mindset of effectuation -- and why?

Please comment on this posting with your thoughts, ideas, and questions.

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  community college  effectuation  entrepreneurial mindset  entrepreneurship  NACCE 

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