Impact Entrepreneurs Replication School: Week 5 Business Process Improvement – Day 3
PSU’s Impact entrepreneurs, in partnership with Digital Divide Data and The Rockefeller Foundation, has been delivering Impact Sourcing Training to social entrepreneurs hand selected by Rockefeller. The training, hosted by digital Divide Data, is preparing these entrepreneurs from Africa and South Asia to launch or expand their own social enterprise initiatives in the Business Process Outsourcing space in their countries.
By Joel Barranger, MBA Portland State University
The group is using the terms from the course content in their everyday language! This is amazing to me. It is a display of their learning and their willingness and excitement to begin using the content in their lives.
We’ve been talking about “value” since Day 1. I’ve challenged each one of them to reflect on value in the form of a deliverable to me. I did not put many boundaries on it because I really want to see how they shape value in their own minds and use this as an opportunity to be creative.
I also realized that I was not loosened up enough. I’d spent so little time really speaking to each of the participants. This came to me when I was asked by Gift, at the end of the day, if he could interview me for their video project. As he was asking, Carol drifted by and said “yes, Joel, we don’t know anything about you”. I laughed and said, “wasn’t one slide on the first day enough?” I knew it wasn’t. It is not typical of me to be cold and impersonal.
I analyzed why that was and came up with a few conclusions. First, I want this to be taken seriously. I realize that you still need to have some elements of fun to make the learning environment strong and positive, but I really needed the group to stay on task to get through all of the material. I wanted to be able to give them as much of the content I’d prepared as possible. I did tell them that this is a large reason why I haven’t been too social. I’ve also started to find that in my professional life I wasn’t advancing my career as fast as I thought I should be. I attributed this to my lack of seriousness in the workplace.
This helped me realize that there is so much more to being a business professional than just understanding business principles. It’s time for me to begin analyzing the balance of seriousness and fun within all my professional endeavors. It starts now as I don’t want this group to slip away from me.