21st Century Social Entrepreneurship

Courtney-Klein

SEED SPOT signage with CEO/Co-founder Courtney Klein

21st Century Social Entrepreneurship

We all wonder where the world is heading. We see many things that need changing and few who are engaged in the positive efforts that make change possible. Social entrepreneurship is on the rise. SEED SPOT, a Phoenix-based co-working and incubator space, is doing just that – creating positive change. They are doing it on multiple levels simultaneously through their leadership, mentoring and social-entrepreneurship programs that create jobs and benefit the community.

When you walk into the space, an entire floor of a high-rise in central Phoenix, the first thing one notices is the sprawling work space area with the notable signage (see photo) front and center. It is the epitome of a collaborative environment where budding entrepreneurs and possibilities coagulators bring people, places and things into a new order that empowers each entrepreneur. The opportunities to stretch and grow, both personally and professionally, bring entrepreneurs and the help they need for launching and growing their business together in a wonderful symbiosis.

The team includes CEO and Co-founder, Courtney Klein; Director of Entrepreneur Initiatives, C’pher Gresham; Director of Development, Tabitha Branscome; and Operations Manager, Corinn Perry, among others, who demonstrate that good things can happen when the right components can be brought together and shared openly. Their programs bring together community leaders, corporate supporters and mentors that provide an excellent foundation for business and community development.

It is the author’s opinion that this organization is poised to grow exponentially. It is obvious from their success in the community that their leadership methodology is working. Truly, collaborative alliances are key factors in developing processes for positive change in local environments. No doubt over the next decade SEED SPOT will have a profound effect on Arizona. In order to change the current social architecture of our country, efforts like theirs are imperative to facilitate people, places and things toward positive change. This is just the beginning of a large-scale change in how business is done in America.

It is also the opinion of the author that examples like SEED SPOT need representation in both large and small communities around the country. How fast this happens will depend largely on public support and local/national leadership that also aligns with the goals and objectives of positive change through rebuilding our economy with sustainable methodologies. These kinds of efforts deserve our attention and support. Our communities and country will benefit and demonstrate that America is truly a world leader for positive change. It has been questionable to date.

Full Spectrum Approach

DreamHow do we incorporate the advantages of best practices in a full-spectrum approach to community building?

I’ve spent decades wandering about the various aspects of community development. I wanted to know how things worked. I produced a television show that allowed a deeper exploration of how people worked through fears and the commonality they found in personal, workplace and community relationships. We explored both inner and outer motivating factors. I found engaging City futures forums, community assessments and working in educational systems to be quite fulfilling for a time, then disappointing as they seemed to be plagued with sub-standard behavior and considerations for the future. I understand that society changes slowly and the resistance to change often creates war.

Those wars spill over into agenda constrictions and behavioral complexities that even the best organizational development consultants and facilitators find challenging. I liked one of the notions that came up in my MA program… that challenge and change are only three letters different. Removing the ‘lle’ (liabilities, limitations and excuses) automatically creates change. I was fortunate to be able to extend that thoughtmosphere into the realms of the local chapter of the American Society for Training and Development’s annual conference in 2010, titled, “The Shift: Challenge to Change; Removing liabilities, limitations and excuses in the workplace.”

I enjoyed teaching high school in a number of environments, while looking for a steady job in the business curriculum arena so I could become fully certified, which included district, charter and even a residential treatment center. Holistic systems always fascinated me, so I look for ways to improve upon existing arrangements to facilitate greater harmony among the people, places and things involved. It doesn’t always bode well. However, it prompted me to write a business plan for a model school to address the ‘at-risk’ students I found to be slipping through the cracks right and left.

Partial Answer to the Question:

My living partner, who I coaxed into the MA in Organizational Mangement program at the University of Phoenix, and I proceded to discuss and craft the plan while in our program together. We’d met as a result of our deep-seated desires to create highly functioning communities that integrated eco-systems and hi-tech solutions to engaging the citizens and nature, modeling a symbiosis of people, places and things that could provide future solutions to a variety of challenges. Our concern was to look at the big picture first and craft a scalable model that would emulate a best-practice-driven community.

We began by considering housing, including the natural circadian rhythms as well as planetary rhythms. We concluded that a 13-moon configuration would work well for the achievement of lunar-driven goals and objectives. As each month’s goals were met, movement to the next house would occur as a rite of passage, celebrated as well, with a full cycle granting the student a vote on the peer-community council’s administrative and facility management actions.Community building and operation is taught through the living environment as well as the curriculum. Each ‘house’ would extend the learning from the classroom and outdoor activity with developmental processes.

That is the beginning of the plan and perhaps it can stimulate other discussion and/or considerations for the community here. Holistic considerations can spill over into the subsets of communities that are being created around population centers now. They already include master-planned developments that have the standard civil planning or community components. Inclusion of advanced technology that included power generation and transportation options appears to be just sense made common. Commerce is taking a turn with the entrepreneurial co-working and incubator space developments. Why not associate those with a community development as well?

To grow our understanding and capacity for harmony with people, places and things in our future developments is imperative as we all know. I’m just another choir member whose thankful for a place to share something that, perhaps, may have some value. There is more if there is interest. Something that can offer an additional professional perspective is my work with construction partnering through Team Partnering. It may appear conservative in presentation.

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A New World Order?

DataNeverSleepsWe face a time where many things are changing, including our world. We need to move forward, but how? Are our values, morals and ethics enough? Reports from the other side* seem to reveal a paradox in that we carry our own judgments, otherwise they do not exist. Yet, the fact that I used the term New World Order caused a response within you and more than likely toward the suspicious rather than friendly and open.

Our thoughts and actions determine our reality, as one might extrapolate based on new thought and quantum theory. Imagine that there is no ultimate Judge, only our own record of behavior weighed with the internal gauge of our own perception. We’re not always clear and conscious as we navigate the ocean of emotion. The spiritual sagas relate stories of the Light and the Void, yet we often miss they are one within us – our internal barometer of balance and harmony.

What if the sensations are the same in the Void as in the Light? What if there is a sense of total individuality and total inclusion in the Oneness, the yin/yang of the life cycle in consciousness? Could this be what the ‘end of time’ is? Are we moving toward a unified field theory that plays out as movement toward pragmatic ends? Is it possible these polarities within us are learning to play instead of fight? How can we help?

Perhaps we’re all just data flowing down some etheric glass tube or something. Our lives are certainly becoming data-driven by the Giver of Data. According to the stats, nary one-third of the population is active. We know it operates on light pulses. What we forget is that we do to, so its possible for data streams to intermingle. I wonder what might happen? We’d certainly need to suspend our belief system in order to process the data without bias.

The only judgments made in the realms of consciousness are our own. Near-Death experiencers validate that point ubiquitously. What a paradox in the face of the fear, guilt and shame game! What if we were able to carry that feeling of connectedness (reported by NDE and Spiritually Transformative Experiencers) with us, knowing it is what we will find at our next transition anyway? Seems we got that advice a couple thousand years ago and very few listened then. We’re seeing scientific leanings toward the same in quantum realms.

Is this our challenge: to move from duality to Oneness in our own consciousness? What a challenge for humans! Our minds are binary processors, so that can be a real challenge. It can also be a great opportunity. Are we more than just humans? Are we alien to our own design? Or do we just not understand what being human really means? We certainly sense the deep connection with loved ones and in compassionate activities. Is this natural? Are we truly spiritual beings having a human experience?

Does a child not grow up to become an adult with the capacity to become a parent? What is a self-actualized human being? Could we be confusing crawl-ins, stand-ins and walk-ins because we have no frame of reference and still cannot claim our own growth toward magnificence? We are taught to cower (respect) in the presence of authority and not question directly. Do we not question the significance of reality on a regular basis?

The natural resonance of what we have categorized as the various forms of love is obvious evidence that we have a deep-seated knowing that produces sensations when we violate our own values in living. Science explains it as harmonic or discordant frequencies, depending on the observable result. Observation is across a sensory array throughout our mind and body, like a transceiver, that we can only ‘read’ when we are quiet, silent and intentionally available.

Our ethics demonstrate how we weigh our knowing of this love with the maligned perception of fear, guilt or shame promoted by those who wish dominance because the grip of their own fear is so unshakeable. The latter is an example of discordant frequencies, they just don’t feel good at all. True happiness is unavailable in that state of being. We can see the falseness of safety and security in money and power.

A self-actualized human being, in my opinion, would have achieved awareness through primary personal portals into the fabric of consciousness, at least becoming proficient in creating constructive scenarios with people, places and things. In other words, going through the trials and tribulations to learn trust in yourself. One who achieves a connected state is able to excel in creating good will and execution of strategic plans to actualize personal or professional goals. They work and play well with others and even lead by example in their community.

Even those connected individuals realize that the challenge to remain connected is an ever-present moment. It’s a constant choice to stay in the precious present. Now what about those who have extraordinary connectivity to things beyond the normal scope of human experience? In other words, what about those who are open to the thoughts and feelings of others? Empathy is their gift, yet it can often extend into the collective consciousness, the ‘thoughtmosphere’ of the planet. How do they relate to a new living awareness? Apparently sensitivities are on the rise due to our planet’s increased vibratory rate as a bi-product of our movement through space. Imagine being plugged in to the cosmic computer with terabytes processing through you in each heart beart.

According to some sources, cosmic volunteers that become self-actualized human beings master experiential knowing and translate their wisdom into ‘righteous’ acts, promoting the good of the order and all. They are able to engage phenomena beyond our imagination and yet because of universal edicts, their lives are often hidden from public view. What if some of these paranormal possibilities began leaking through to the general public?

Humans tend to want spectacular sideshows anyway, and often get caught up in the phenomena to the point of missing the message. We might even begin to see a synergism of previously fragmented bits of knowledge that congeal into malleable frameworks of great import if we pay attention closely. A natural order exists, understood by mathematicians and scientists, that is being presented as a question of balance with inner and outer realities.

Across the Web and in our communities there are so many versions of how this group or that group is vying for position to lead the way to the New World Order, some as cabals and pundits and others as world servers and stewards. A point of perspection dances in the balance of the seer’s vision. What lens are we looking through? Can we have a broader view? Do we really need a view? Can we just choose to get along and move forward like we mean it? Harmony among people and planet would be a new world order.

Just the mention of the phrase ‘New World Order’ carries so many different ‘charges’ of emotional bindings that it is hard to find the ‘truth’ to it all. What were your thoughts when you read the phrase this time? Do you see how sensitized we can become from marginalized information and the projections of others? Still, change happens when polarities come out to play and the situation becomes uncomfortable to an extreme.

So I’ll leave you with this question: What would a new world order of harmony among people and planet look like, smell like, taste like, feel like, sound like and BE like?

Here’s a video from over 20 years ago that might provide some insight and inspiration for the future. It is the first show for One World, a series I created in the early 90s, outlining the concept and hopefuls for the show. Are we willing to incorporate the new and find harmony in the all?

The Most Common Fear

be successfulWhat do you think is the most common fear in business today? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of dissolution? Fear of the market? Fear of regulations? Fear of whistle blowers? According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, 19 million people have specific phobias, such as crossing bridges or tunnels; 15 million have a social phobia, e.g., public speaking; and 2 million have agoraphobia, when sufferers avoid places where they previously had a panic attack. Those who have one phobia likely have others too. (Forbes-Allison Van Dusen, 12.14.06, 12:01 AM ET)

Now these are common personal fears, but what about how those translate into the business environment? It is this writer’s opinion that the most common fear is ‘losing control.’ Years of project management and organizational observations edify this perception and it shows up most commonly as micro-management or the feeling that you have to ‘do it all.’ The lack of trust in the leadership/management team diminishes their ability to perform. Oftentimes the opportunity to develop a strong management team never appears because of the ‘energy’ of the leader/owner/CEO. How are you ‘controlling’ those around you? Do you carry unspoken and unfulfilled expectations of your cohorts? What are they?

The answers to the latter questions are the first things you need to put on the table. The expectations and questions that evolve from the discussion will literally set you free inside. That may be uncomfortable at first because you’ve never done it before, never allowed yourself to be vulnerable in sharing for fear that you might hurt someone’s feelings maybe. Or you think you might have expectations that are too high. If you never voice them, how can you expect any kind of commitment to them? Can you match them with your own expectations of your personal performance? Oh my…. you might fail. You might make mistakes.

What is interesting is the anxiety-driven decision-making process is obviously not the best practice for management, let alone for the survival of the company. The mental constructs for the organizational development often don’t see the need for making sense common – jobarchy – the job/project is the boss and everyone wins. The ‘anxious’ feeling is often misinterpreted and mismanaged in the ‘flow’ of optimal experience. Quite serendipitously engaged, this same feeling often is the same as the ‘creative spirit’ showing up in consciousness. It actually shows up in the body’s sensations first.

Now, there is a choice when the feeling shows up. Anxiety results in being afraid, angry, ignorant and immobile in the process of making sense common and providing good leadership decisions. The paradox is that same feeling opens the door to change, of doing things more congruent with flow only the experience is lacking validation because of past choices. The challenge to change appears and invites participation. Is the perception of control that important when it stifles the possibilities for growth and escalation of revenue?

People naturally want to do the right thing right when supported in the workplace, whatever the function. Happy people get more done in less time with less supervision and often reduce costs with value engineering choices that better use resources, both human and material. As a leader, you have to be vulnerable. The paradox of being vulnerable is that it allows the inner strengths of your team to emerge. Your business SWOTT has just taken and evo-leap with the new skill set capacity for application you’ve invited to the party.

Let’s look briefly at what others have said about this process. Peter Senge states, “Learning disabilities are tragic in children, but they are fatal in organizations. Because of them, few corporations live even half as long as a person – most die before they reach the age of forty.” The anxiety model keeps you from execution, the most critical part of leadership. Larry Bossidy writes, “Many people regard execution as detail work that’s beneath the dignity of a business leader. That’s wrong. To the contrary, it’s a leader’s most important job.”

NOW is the most important time you can engage as a leader. The desire for control takes you out of the present moment because it does two things that divides your attention. First, you think of past failures and undesirable results. Next, you move into some future view of mixed-messages that craft an equally dismal result if certain things don’t happen. How is that effective management? You’ve got the team, right? So let them go and do what you’ve hired them to do, just make sure they’ve got the resources to execute your plans.

Your strategic planning needs to have the buy-in from all your team, your organization cannot perform well when the plan is nebulous or without specific action items assigned to each component of the plan. Years of facilitating projects, from community events to multi-million dollar product lines, public events and construction projects have demonstrated that clear codes of ethics, mission statements, goals with objectives, issue resolution action procedures and work breakdown structures with a schedule make for smoothing out the bumps in the road to success. Let go of your fears and ask for help from your team.

For entrepreneurs this process is a little different because you need the help of outside resources. The critical needs are addressed in your business plan, a flexible document that is your roadmap to success. If you don’t have one, it’s hard to manage the details and the desire for control is exacerbated because all the details are in your head or loosely detailed in notes or charts around your workspace. Take the time to craft a plan, put your business on the path it deserves so that you can solicit help to achieve your dream. If you need help, that’s where people like me come in to take your full color dream and help you turn it into a black and white system for execution.

If you do have a plan, share it. You’d be surprised how the natural law of attraction can draw the people you need to execute it. There are a growing number of organizations with helpful people that can provide classes and workshops, office space and networking opportunities that can energize your passion and purpose in achieving your dream, too. Check out The Vault in Colorado for a great model.