One of my favorite things to do is work with leaders who are eager to shape the future. I especially enjoy working with leaders in the $3 trillion healthcare space. Why? Their world is being disrupted at an increasingly rapid pace, and many leaders in this important industry are doing what they can to innovate and shape the future. I also appreciate the fact that women comprise a large portion (approximately 75%!) of the healthcare industry. When I help hospitals and other other healthcare organizations reinvent their futures, I am helping female leaders, their families and their communities. Thanks Western Healthcare Alliance and all involved for taking on this important conversation about leading innovation to help build a better future for all the people and communities your serve.
I had the wonderful opportunity to stretch myself yesterday on Pure Nebraska with Jon and Taryn Vanderford. I was all set to discuss the future of leadership with a focus on women. My goal was to point out the important contributions women have been making for a long time in the area of leadership. I also wanted to note that their contributions have often gone unrecognized, and that it is time to change the mindset and conversation around women and leadership. It is critical for us to redefine leadership while realizing that people want to connect with their purpose and issues that matter to them. I also wanted to talk about their participation in the growing #GigEconomy. Research by the National Women’s Business Council noted that 91% of female entrepreneurs are in businesses for themselves. I related this to their participation in growing #GigEconomy. Women are participating in the #GigEconomy in an effort to make economic gains while building lives they enjoy, which often involves balancing income generation with family time.
Let’s just say that the three minute segment went faster than I thought, and I did not make my key points very well. It was so different from recording videos that are edited. However, it was an amazing experience! I left thinking about all the ways I should have/could have, etc. Then, I realized how much of a stretch experience this was for me. Recording a live, three-minute segment was a first. I had fun, learned a lot and would love to do it again.
My experience yesterday reminded me of the importance of taking risks and enjoying the ride. I tend to be very critical of myself but also realize it is hard to do well when taking on new experiences. The point is to have the new experience! Being entrepreneurial requires us to take risks, learn, tweak and repeat. Was it perfect? No. Was it cool? Yes!
I am not sure I have been living entrepreneurially lately. The Pure Nebraska interview was a great reminder that I need to intentionally incorporate more risk into my everyday life! And, I have to live my mantra: Be You & Do Something Cool! Life should be lived as an amazing adventure.
Thanks Jon, Taryn and the Pure Nebraska crew for the opportunity! And, a BIG thanks to the Rural Futures team for your support and help getting the interview out to the world. You are all amazing!
Business is in the age of the “Empowered Consumer” who has a buffet of buying choices. Empowered consumers decide how they want to purchase goods and services. Big Data [collecting information (data) from multiple sources to detect trends, identify patterns and make decisions] is one tool that can be used to develop marketing campaigns, study human behaviors and determine patterns. It is also being used to examine and redesign various areas of the consumer experience.
Entrepreneurs and leaders can use Big Data to capitalize on consumer patterns and demands while creating more customized consumer experiences. Data is collected with every click, and some metrics can be used almost immediately. In 2014, Black Friday was November 28. Data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Black Friday Report was available almost immediately and was published on December 2, 2014. According to IBM, online Black Friday sales grew by 9.5 percent from 2013 to 2014. Retail ecommerce (orders via computer) and mcommerce (orders via mobile device) are predicted to increase by double-digit margins well into 2018 (eMarketer, 2014). Data demonstrates the continued growth of the digital marketplace, and rural businesses must find ways to capitalize on these trends.
The world is fast-becoming an “Add to Cart” society for anything and everything. Individuals are creating local, national and global communities of meaning and change that are self-selected and self-formed. Many of these same individuals are transforming commerce and communities in new and innovative ways. The definition of community is not limited to a physical location. Technology, combined with the need for meaning, self-expression and self-actualization, has created an increasingly decentralized marketplace.
People are choosing how to meet virtually, and when, where and whether or not to meet face-to-face. They are also connecting around common causes. Commerce, along with so many other areas of life, is becoming increasingly decentralized. Savvy consumers seek and create value they crave to transform their lives. Technology enables the delivery of information, goods and services anytime, anywhere, and from anyone in a way that makes sense while adding value to the lives of consumers.
For example, companies like Stitch Fix (http://www.StitchFix.com) initially get to know their customers with a personal style quiz and continue to gather information about the clientele every month by sending them personalized clothing selections. Orders are delivered to clients and customers pay only for what they keep. Stitch Fix tracks the feedback on likes and dislikes after every shipment and learns how to better serve its customers with the data it continuously collects.
Consumer demands are shaping the marketplace and future trends. Empowered consumers want unique experiences that add value to their lives. Future-focused leaders and entrepreneurs who ask and answer not, “What is the lifetime value of a customer?” but rather, “What value can we add to a lifetime?” will be in a better position to compete in the increasingly decentralized marketplace.
Coaching Tips for Female Entrepreneurs and Leaders:
Connect and work together online and offline.Build your support network to generate ideas and get help growing your business. The most successful entrepreneurs and leaders help one another. I see this all of the time with authors too! They promote one another while helping each other grow their businesses and ideas.
Get rid of assumptions and use data to make decisions. Take a few ideas from places having success in the marketplace, such as Stitch Fix.
Future-Focused Entrepreneurs and Leaders:
Take Action with Cooperation, Creativity and Purpose
Interestingly enough, the hottest jobs at Facebook require a “human touch.” Why? Facebook is looking for people who can close sales because its revenue relies heavily on ads (Anders, 2014). Perhaps the most future-focused entrepreneurial leaders are blending “high human touch” with “high-tech” in new and interesting ways that holistically add value to the lives of others.
Future-focused, entrepreneurial leaders can use megatrends and technology to change the game of life. One person cannot do it alone in a world that continues to change at an increasingly rapid pace; rather, rural entrepreneurs should innovate in communities with a spirit of cooperation, creativity, and purpose. Together, with a common purpose, female entrepreneurs and leaders can examine megatrends, utilize emerging technologies, and monitor analytics while creating meaningful experiences and innovating rural businesses in ways not yet imagined.
Go Wild with the Decentralized Global Marketplace! Watch the video below for more details on how you can innovate your companies and communities with cooperation, creating and purpose!
PS: Share your thoughts, ideas and actions with the Ask Dr. Connie community. We would love to hear from you!
The tools and technologies that help people create their own businesses and design their lives in ways that best suit them, are also fueling Megatrend #2: Living with Purpose and Meaning. Purposeful living is shaping everything from healthcare to education.
Our society is quickly evolving into an era characterized by shared purpose and meaning. Personal fulfillment is a growing trend in business and entrepreneurship. People are looking to decrease their levels of stress and strengthen their healthy habits while finding greater fulfillment.
Ben & Jerry’s is an example of a company that integrates purpose and meaning into its core existence by creating “linked prosperity” for everyone involved with the business. The company supports “linked prosperity” by establishing and aligning social, product and economic missions (benjerry.com/values).
The Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend will continue to grow as the global population increases and places more demands on the planet’s limited natural resources. What does this mean for female entrepreneurs? They may be able to grow by connecting to people through purpose and meaning. Technology may be one way future-focused entrepreneurs can holistically add more purpose and meaning to the lives of both clients and employees.
For example, a forecast by Carbone and Nauth in The Futurist (2012) describes the evolution of the “cloud” from a repository or information to an intelligent resource that can help make decisions and provide assistance. They discuss the cloud evolving from a place to store data to an intelligent resource that will actively help people improve their lives:
Virtual agents will migrate from being an automated form of phone-based customer service to a personalized form of support and assistance that provides information and—more importantly—performs useful tasks. For example, such agents might design a weekly menu based on a family’s health profile, fitness goals, and eating preferences, and automatically order ingredients.
This forecast provides an example of how entrepreneurs can use technology to help their organizations innovate with a focus on the future. A transition from cloud-based computing to cloud-based living and learning is an opportunity for female entrepreneurs to create new profit centers and customer experiences while strengthening employee engagement in a more holistic manner.
Three trends supporting the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend include: 1) minimalism, 2) life increasingly flowing together instead of being compartmentalized into work, family, recreation, etc., and 3) the quest for greater well-being, health and vitality.
Minimalism is one of the trends shaping the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend because people are seeking less stuff and more life. Trend-setting places like the Silicon Valley have embraced minimalism, and this approach to living is influencing everything from living spaces, to workplaces and web design.
People are increasingly learning and living on the go in both the virtual and physical senses, which blurs the lines between family, self-care, work and play. Research has demonstrated that happiness is a precursor to success. These findings question the view that hard work will lead to success, which eventually leads to happiness. Raising levels of positivity in the present creates a “happiness advantage” in the brain, leading to better outcomes in the areas of education, business and well-being. To learn more, check out Shawn Achor’s 2011 TED Talk: The Happy Secret to Better Work.
How do these trends influence entrepreneurship? As more people want to connect with their purpose, find meaning in their lives, and increase their vitality, businesses and communities should take a more people-centered approach focused on meaning, well-being and the mind-body connection, supported by the right social networks, experiences and technologies. A few ideas might include:
Integrating holistic, healthy living and self-care principles into business practices in an effort to create better employee and customer experiences and to create more value in products and services.
Providing coaching for employees to help them uncover their purpose and to create strategies and structures to support meaningful actions designed to improve their careers and lives.
Adding physical activity and fun into the workday in an effort to stimulate creativity, decrease stress, build camaraderie and strengthen overall wellness.
It’s time to focus on the whole person and what life means to each individual. Helping people find their fulfillment, purpose and definition of success may provide future-focused leaders and entrepreneurs with tools to innovate their organizations and communities. Businesses should find new ways to add increased value to the lives of customers, employees and families. People can choose where they want to work, shop and live. They also choose how to invest their time and money. Businesses that add the most value, including those in rural areas, will have the competitive advantage.
Coaching Tips for Female Entrepreneurs:
Develop a clear purpose.Clarity of purpose creates a meaningful path to success. A great coaching tool to use: Create a vision board with your “why” in mind.
Define core values. A business should develop core values that truly represent its brand. Empowered consumers connect with brands and businesses that have core values similar to their own. Outline the core values of your business and what each value means. A great strategic plan can evolve from clear core values. Create visual images for each value and make your values public. Share them with world. They help tell your story.
Make self-care a priority.Physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being are all important. Successful entrepreneurs and their teams need time for creativity and a lot of energy to grow their ventures!
Get positive.A positive mindset has been scientifically proven to support everything from creativity and innovation to increased sales and employee engagement. If you need more help learning how to be more positive, begin coloring your way to happiness with Blue the Bee Learns to Be Happy! (Reimers-Hild and Wetizenkamp, 2015).
Practice gratitude. Keep a physical or digital journal and write in it daily. Writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday will help your brain focus on the positive while helping your notice new opportunities!
Share the stories that enhance the brand with your team and your customers. Use social media platforms to create and present meaningful content worth reading and sharing. People connect with experiences and stories behind the products and services they use!
HAVE FUN! Fun is absolutely invaluable. It decreases stress and improves relationship. Fun is also a foundation to creativity and innovation. This is an area I expand upon in my first book, Go Wild with Confidence! (Reimers-Hild, 2013).
Check out the video below focusing on Megatrend 2: Living with Purpose and Meaning. And, let us know what you are doing to improve your life.
Go Wild with Your Future! And, as always-Be YOU and Do Something Cool!
I received the press release for the InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge in Lincoln, NE on March 26 and had to share it with all of you.
Go Wild with Your Creativity and Ideas, Support Women and Go For It!
Be You & Do Something Cool!
OMAHA–The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Nebraska District Office invites entrepreneurs with an idea or product to improve the lives of women and families to compete in Lincoln at the InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge.
The challenge is scheduled for March 26 starting at 11 a.m. at the Southeast Community College Entrepreneurship Center, 285 South 68th Street, Suite 214, Lincoln.
During the competition in Lincoln, contestants will offer a business plan pitch explaining their product or idea. The winner will be eligible to contend for one of the final ten national slots and a chance to win a cash prize in Washington, D.C. during National Small Business Week May 4-8.
The SBA wants to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s women and men by providing needed resources and technical assistance to business owners and innovators.
InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge is an engaging women business challenge in which the SBA will facilitate unearthing and empowering entrepreneurs.
The competition in Lincoln is open to entrepreneurs throughout Nebraska, both women and men, who are developing products or services that have a measurable positive impact on the lives of women and families, has the potential for commercialization, and fills a need in the marketplace. As demands on women and families grow in our society, the need for products, services, and technology addressing those needs increases.
For more information and for a complete list of rules and a formal application, please call Elizabeth Yearwood, Economic Development Specialist at the SBA, at (402) 221-7200 or email Elizabeth.email@example.com. Applications must be completed and submitted no later than 4 p.m. March 16 to be eligible for the challenge in Lincoln March 26.
For more information regarding SBA, please visit our website at: www.sba.gov/ne.
Ricardo Semler is a CEO and Organizational Changemaker, which is awesome. But, guess what? He is also a husband, father of 5 and a person who embraces living life in the present. He also knows and promotes living an intentional life while having FUN!
Mr. Semler is asking powerful questions designed to help people rethink their lives. He has some radical ideas on how to change both the workplace and the school system.
What if Ricardo Semler’s leadership wisdom is right? Check out his TED Talk and decide for yourself. Are you going to wait and complete your bucket list in retirement, or are you going to live in the here and now? Let me know what you decide by posting your decision below.
Personally, I think his ideas and experiences can be used to strengthen your Inner Leader.
No matter your situation, make sure you have a great Valentine’s Day. There is no such thing as waiting for the perfect “someday” Valentine’s Day adventure!
Go Wild & Enjoy Valentine’s Day! -Dr. Connie
PS: If you need some help creating an authentic bucket list or intentional goals, download my SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals Coaching Guide from the web: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/kimmelfacpub/23/
Memorial Weekend is a great opportunity to remember and celebrate those who have gone before us. Their lives and experiences have helped shape the world. I think of my own Mom who raised six kids and always reminded us to cherish and protect our freedom. She loved her country and taught all of us to do the same. I miss hearing her talk about the importance of living in a free country. I now enjoy sharing her words of wisdom with my own children.
Mom’s Advice: Have confidence and take inspired action. Remember those you have lost and take time to give back to those who have served and their families. Give the military families and veterans in your life a token of your appreciation. Both big and small gestures go a long way. Get creative and do something you think they would appreciate. Be You & Do Something Cool this weekend!
Also, really think about the fact that you are responsible for your actions and have the freedom to create your own destiny. My parting words for today are a quote from Inez Milholland, a Suffragist in 1909:
“I am prepared to sacrifice every so-called privilege I possess in order to have a few rights.”
A big thank you to all who have served and all those still serving as well as their families. We owe you all a great debt of gratitude.
My book, Go Wild with Confidence!, is on sale through Memorial Weekend as a token of my appreciation to freedom. I want to do all I can to help others go wild and support their dreams! Go Wild with Confidence! is available on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle by going to: http://amzn.com/1467949329
PS: I am exercising my freedom and working on my next book, so please give me your feedback via AskDrConnie.com or through an Amazon review. I would love to hear from you! Listening to my readers is a great way for me to learn and serve others better!