Expanding the Canvas and Finding the Compass: The Role of Meditation in Decision Making

By RICARDO B LEVY: Technical innovation is often at the heart of an entrepreneurial venture. The leader’s role is to create the right environment to facilitate and foster such innovation. This requires bringing together people of different skills and specializations, ideally individuals more competent than the leader in their areas of expertise, very comfortable pushing the boundaries of the unknown in their particular domain. Their domain risk tolerance is likely to be very high.

What the leader needs to recognize is that the risk tolerance of the expert in his or her area of specialization may not apply to their tolerance of the uncertainties in other aspects of the entrepreneurial venture. For example, a scientist who may be one of the best in the world at creating new photovoltaic materials and be very at ease with the inherent uncertainty of the discovery of new PV compounds may be very un-easy with the challenges of financing or selling. Just think of the un-ease that scientist may feel when confronted with only a six-month cash runway. The role of the leader is to absorb any extraneous uncertainty that may get in the way of the expert team member, freeing that individual to do the best job possible, to do the job unbridled.

Taking responsibility for the full uncertainty of the company is the logical task of the leader in an entrepreneurial organization. After all, the senior executive has the whole company in his or her hands, and is the one person most aware of all the known factors affecting the destiny of the company. That is the nature of the office. But how does a leader cope with such a large burden?

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Growth Acceleration Strategies for Family Businesses: Steering on a Crowded and Slippery Track

By Ali Borhani: The story begins with two friends who went trekking and hiking in British Columbia in Canada. One night and after a long walk, they camped by a beautiful river that had a nice BBQ, watched the stars by the fire and went to sleep. In the morning when they were freshening up and washing their faces, one of them saw a very big and rather aggressive grizzly bear approaching them. While he was screaming and shouting with fear, anticipating the worst, his friend calmly went to the tent, bringing out his boots and lacing them up. The frozen and scared friend was watching the bear with one eye, and with the other observing his friend in bewilderment. He shouted, “Are you out of your mind, the bear is coming and you are lacing up?” to which his friend responded, “ The reality is that the bear will shortly chase both of us as he seems hungry, and we have to run away. I am making sure I do stay ahead of you.” The moral of the story is that the competition is a basic instinct and family businesses are well-advised to “lace up” and develop their growth strategies now…

In which camp have you set up your tent? Are you in the valleys of preservation or on the high-hills of growth? These are two completely different locations to find yourself in. From a growth camp one has a bird’s eye view over all the changes in the geo-economical landscape and will see the grizzlies of competition a long time before they arrive.

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