The keynote speaker to kick off the second day of ICMLG'14 was Dr Leonard Schlesinger. Dr Schlesinger was recently appointed Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard University.
The talk—which built on Isenberg's entrepreneurial ecosystems talk on day 1—explored entrepreneurial thought and action, the primary point being that entrepreneurs are action-oriented rather than thinking-oriented. Whereas the normal modus operandi of established companies is built on structure and linearity, entrepreneurial activity is rather messy. Further, the future cannot readily be predicted (despite the best attempts of consulting firms and mature businesses to do through through detailed and systematic planning processes). Therefore, different approaches are required. Instead of "Where to?", the question needs to be "Where to next?" As such, a degree of predictability comes through the process of taking short steps. The goal should be to map out the next few steps, and to be agile based on known resources and known landscape at that time.
Schlesinger had much to say, more than what is reasonable to share in this post. His talk would have been quite provocative for many listeners, but I revelled in his frank commentary. They have motivated me to pause and review of some of the assumptions that underpin my doctoral research work, which is great. I'll start that process on the flight from Boston to the Midwest on Saturday morning.
Thoughts on corporate purpose, strategy and governance; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.