Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Can *I* Do???

What Can I Do?
(What Should I Do?)

or if you like... What Should I Do MORE Of?

Happy 2011!
Now that January is well under way, an update is definitely overdue. it may not be a New Years resolution (not that they ever work) but it's more than time for some blogging. I've accumulated some great stuff to share, muvh of which is very timely now that the legislature is back in session with zero cash (at best) but also a burning need to support the economy. Fortunately, those of you who know me also know that there's much that we CAN do!

To start off 2011, though, let me throw out two things. The first is a request; the second is an invitation!

First (the request): What Should I Do MORE Of?

Whether you know me well or only know me through these posts & emails... I want to make sure that I'm doing the right things the right way. Doing the right things trumps doing the wrong things brilliantly ;) So....

I want to hear from as many of you as possible - whether your immediate gut reaction or a well-thought-out response, I want YOUR answer to that question. What Should I Do MORE Of? (if you prefer, tell me what I should do LESS of...)

The famous blogger/writer Seth Godin asked his readers - Who has your back when things get tough? Whose back do YOU have? So if you have trouble with my question, please feel free to be a bit selfish. Answer THIS question instead:
What can Norris Krueger do to have YOUR back?
What would that entail?
Is it something I need to do more of?
Something I need to start doing?
(Something I should stop doing??)

I would be honored to have your back. (I am hoping it doesn't involve a street brawl, though... LOL) And if enough people respond... I've got a special 2011 surprise for ya!

Second (the invitation): "Existenzgr├╝ndungen aus der Wissenschaft"

In December I headed to the Ruhr valley (think the Cleveland of Germany) an area that is working hard to entrepreneurial-ize itself and, like most of Germany, is inching forward. However, their perceptions are that they aren't making progress. One of my hosts, Tobias Kollman of the University Duisberg-Essen, threw out a metaphor that really stimulated my thinking (Tobias is a cashed-out web entrepreneur as well as a professor - good guy to know).

Tobias said "Germans look at entrepreneurial culture like a dance party. They are peering into the windows and see all the Americans, Canadians, etc. out there on the entrepreneurial dance floor dancing their hearts out. And all we can do is look in the window and wish WE were dancing."

Funny but I know lots of Americans with the same general feeling. So how do we amp up the dancing?

In my presentation, I riffed on Tobias's metaphor that there are three possible strategies to take.

#1 Dancing Lessons. There are some skills that you need but just like entrepreneurship, you need to cultivate the right mindset. And with just the right coaching/mentoring, we can accelerate that mindset in a lot of people.

#2 Learn to See Ourselves as Dancers. Find ways to nurture that mindset especially as a community of dancers.

#3 Just Start Dancing. Find ways to simply get out on the dance floor and make it happen (learn to learn vicariously and learn to learn by doing).

The reality probably is that we need all three - and there are ways that we can do all three without spending much money (at least not our own!)

BTW, "Existenzgr├╝ndungen aus der Wissenschaft" means "science-based startups" [think "innovation-based"]

So all I'm asking for you in this first post of 2011 are two questions:

What should Norris do MORE of us? (Especially to help have your back)

Ready to DANCE???

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